The U.S. Supreme Court has taken away women’s constitutional rights to have an abortion after almost 50 years, overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and paving the way for states to ban abortion.
Overruling Roe gives states broad latitude to ban or regulate abortion and many conservative-leaning states are ready to further limit access, while some more progressive states allow abortions. The decision is expected to be a major issue in the 2022 midterm elections, as state and federal lawmakers jockey for position in a post-Roe world.
Almost half the states have laws in place or are ready to ban or limit abortion, while others have laws that will keep it legal.
Across the U.S., 38 percent of the women who reported legal abortions in 2019 were Black, 33 percent were white, and 21 percent were Hispanic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Black women disproportionately use abortion services in much of the South — where access is expected to mostly vanish with the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe.
Trigger bans, pre-Roe restrictions and fetal heartbeat laws will automatically activate in 22 states now that the Supreme Court has overruled Roe v. Wade, Huff Post reported.
Philip Lewis, a Detroit native and Huff Post editor, tweeted a map showing the states that are expected to ban abortions.
“The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump,” Mark Sherman reported for the Associated Press.
A majority of Americans favored preserving Roe, according to opinion polls.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison tweeted, “SCOTUS has overturned Roe—but in MN, your right to choose is protected & that’s not changing. But Americans everywhere, not only in MN, are in our circle of compassion. My pledge to you: No one from any state will be prosecuted in MN for seeking an abortion that’s legal in MN.”
In a statement Friday, Sen. Joe Manchin said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling. He said he “trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.”
In a separate opinion, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday wrote that the Supreme Court should reconsider its decisions establishing a “right to contraception”, “sex between consenting adult men”, and “same-sex marriage,” and “correct the error” it made in those cases.
Photo: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administers the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett as her husband, Jesse Barrett, and President Donald Trump watch, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)