Supreme Court overturns abortion rights; Illinois governor declares state a safe space

June 24, 2022

In a 5-3-1 vote, the Supreme Court ruled Friday to overturn Roe vs. Wade, giving the power to determine abortion rights to each individual state. 

In the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, he said 26 states expressed their wish for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, many of which already have or have made plans to pass abortion bans.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito said. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

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According to the majority opinion, abortion rights do not fall under the provision of the 14th Amendment because abortion is not “deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and tradition.” Because abortion was not part of American law until the 20th century, it is exempt from the provision, Alito said. 

Alito additionally said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and the “reasoning was exceptionally weak.” 

Though he didn’t join the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion stating he agreed with the court that the rule regarding the woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy up to the point of viability should be disregarded, but he made it clear that is the only agreement he has with the court. 

“The Court’s decision to overrule Roe and Casey is a serious jolt to the legal system—regardless of how you view those cases. A narrower decision rejecting the misguided viability line would be markedly less unsettling, and nothing more is needed to decide this case,” Roberts said. 

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan wrote a dissenting opinion saying “the Court struck a balance” during Casey by prohibiting abortions after fetal viability as long as they had exceptions to protect women’s health, but it has now been broken. 

“Today, the Court discards that balance. It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

The dissenting justices expressed their concern for how states will interpret the ruling, siting the Texas abortion law allowing residents of the state to sue doctors, clinics or people who drive women to get an abortion for at least $10,000. 

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“A State can of course impose criminal penalties on abortion providers, including lengthy prison sentences. But some States will not stop there. Perhaps, in the wake of today’s decision, a state law will criminalize the woman’s conduct too, incarcerating or fining her for daring to seek or obtain an abortion,” the dissenting said. “And as Texas has recently shown, a State can turn neighbor against neighbor, enlisting fellow citizens in the effort to root out anyone who tries to get an abortion, or to assist another in doing so.”

After the Supreme Court announced its ruling, Representative Nancy Pelosi made a statement about the overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

“What this means to women is an insult,” Pelosi said. “It’s a slap in the face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their own reproductive freedom.”

Many abortion opponents are crediting former President Donald Trump for the decision.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker was quick to take to Twitter denouncing the SCOTUS decision, prompting some to say he should consider a run for the White House.

Abortion rights proponents are saying the fight is not over and now it’s time to focus on the ballot box.

 

Many people on Twitter are talking about Illinois being the closest “safe place” for abortion for many states:

 

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