Thursday, August 11, 2022

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. What does that mean?

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Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the opinion, was joined by justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, who supported the decision. The court’s three liberal justices, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, dissented, meaning they disagreed with the majority opinion.

“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” they wrote.

Alito’s opinion contains an assurance that the decision “concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right,” and that “nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that the court should go further in the future, and reconsider “all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” the decisions that protect access to contraceptives, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. Thomas referred to those three decisions as “demonstrably erroneous.”

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