The United States Supreme Court ruled June 24 to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, returning the question of abortion’s legality to the states.
The decision follows a draft opinion that was leaked in early May showing that a majority of the justices were already leaning toward overruling the nation’s federal abortion laws.
The court’s ruling June 24 also upheld a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote the official majority opinion, stating, “Roe was … egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided.”
The vote to overturn Roe was 5-4, with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joining Samuel Alito’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts filed a separate opinion, agreeing with the court’s decision to uphold the Mississippi law but arguing that the court should not have decided the broader question of whether the Constitution protects abortion. The court’s three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, filed a joint dissent.
Franklin Graham celebrated the landmark decision on Facebook.
“The United States Supreme Court just announced one of the most significant rulings in my lifetime—officially voting to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision because it was ‘egregiously wrong from the start,’ as stated by Justice Samuel Alito,” he said. “The radical left is calling for a ‘night of rage,’ pregnancy centers are already being vandalized and attacked, and our U.S. Supreme Court justices are being targeted with threats and intimidation. Roe v. Wade, passed 49 years ago, has resulted in the deaths of over 63 million innocent children in this country. Sadly, this decision is not an end to abortion—it pushes the battle back to the states. My prayer is that every state will enact protections for children in the womb and that our nation will value life and recognize the rights of our most vulnerable.”
Other pro-life activists also expressed their joy.
“The United States Supreme Court handed down one of its most life-honoring decisions in decades, simultaneously correcting one of the darkest eras in our nation’s history,” President of March for Life Jeanne Mancini wrote in an email to pro-life supporters. “In 1973, the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade struck down state laws that protected life based on the flawed reasoning that any law restricting access to abortion prior to an unborn child’s ‘viability’ was unconstitutional. Because of this decision, abortion on-demand, right up until birth became the law of our country.
“This is all changing now,” she emphasized.
President and Founder of Live Action, Lila Rose, warned that there is still more work to do.
“Going forward, the pro-life movement must advocate for the Supreme Court to grant equal protection under the law to all humans, even from the very beginning of every human’s life,” she said. “Starting today, every single state in our nation must act swiftly to codify protections for preborn children into state law and resource mothers and fathers to ensure the American family is healthy and ready to flourish without the grave violence of abortion.”
An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute predicts that 26 states are likely to ban all or nearly all abortions.
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images