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.
The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.
It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored preserving Roe, according to opinion polls.
Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman’s right to abortion, is perhaps the most famous ruling by the US Supreme Court. The historic milestone, dating back to 1973, refers to the battle between Jane Roe (not her real name) and the state of Texas, represented by Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. Roe, who was just 21 years old, was pregnant for a third time and wanted to have an abortion. But like in 45 other US states at the time, Texas law prohibited it. She decided to approach two feminist lawyers, who seized upon her case as a symbolic one to take all the way to the
It took three years of legal wrangling before the Supreme Court gave its final decision. By a 7-2 majority, it recognised abortion as a fundamental right guaranteed by the US constitution based on a woman’s “right to privacy”.
Almost 50 years later, the issue continues to divide public opinion. The Supreme Court now has a conservative majority, following the appointment of two new judges by former president Donald Trump. Little by little, local policies have been chipping away at the ruling and clinics that perform abortions are closing one after the other.
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