Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday June 24, 2022
U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion rights up to states
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the Roe v. Wade opinion that has secured constitutional protections for abortion in the country for nearly 50 years.
The milestone ruling, a draft of which was leaked last month, has the potential to claw back abortion access across the U.S. by allowing states to restrict or outright ban the procedure.
The court, in a 6-3 ruling powered by its conservative majority, upheld a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The vote was 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts writing separately to say he would have upheld the Mississippi law without taking the additional step of erasing the Roe precedent altogether.
That original 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ruling found that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy was protected by the rights that flow from the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects a citizen’s right to “life, liberty and property.”
But Associate Justice Samuel Alito disagreed with that interpretation in Friday’s majority opinion on the case challenging the Mississippi law, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote in the opinion, which was very similar to the leaked draft.