The Supreme Court Strikes Down Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and handing states authority to drastically limit or ban the procedure. The decision, announced today, is certain to ignite a firestorm and yield a complex patchwork of state laws that will effectively block large swathes of the population from terminating unwanted pregnancies. The ruling upholds Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which directly clashed with Roe’s requirement that states permit abortion up to the point of fetal viability, around 24 weeks. More than two dozen states, primarily in the South and Midwest, are expected to tighten abortion access as a result of the ruling, including 13 states with “trigger bans” set to take effect automatically or through a minimal effort by state officials. The decision comes after a stunning breach of Supreme Court secrecy last month led to the public release of a draft version of the opinion. Experts expect the far-reaching implications of the decision on health, economics, child welfare, and many other issues to reverberate greatly across the nation.