US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade: states can ban abortion

Originally published in CBN News

The US Supreme Court has overturned its 1973 landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion nationwide for nearly 50 years. The ruling came in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The case challenged Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, and whether it was unconstitutional. It was enacted in 2018 but was blocked after a federal court challenge. 


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The state of Mississippi asked the high court to uphold its law and directly challenged the precedent in Roe and the 1992 Casey v Planned Parenthood that held that states cannot ban pre-viability abortions, those done before a child can survive outside the womb.

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by pro-life advocates.

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.

Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Alito wrote.

Authority to regulate abortion rests with the political branches, not the courts, Alito wrote.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

Chief Justice John Roberts would have stopped short of ending the abortion right, noting that he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and said no more.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the court — were in dissent.

“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.

In a nationally-televised speech, President Joe Biden said, “It’s a sad day for the court and the country.”  

Biden called on Congress to restore abortion across the nation as federal law and for voters to elect state lawmakers who would protect abortion rights. 

As CBN News has reported, since Roe has been overturned by the high court, thirteen states have trigger laws in place to prohibit abortion. The issue will now shift to the state legislatures. 

Those existing laws have been estimated to possibly close approximately 202 clinics or 26% of all publicly advertised abortion facilities in the US, according to a recent study from Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), a program within the University of California San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health.

According to the study, among all US states, California had the most abortion facilities, with 168 open facilities as of 2021, followed by New York (89) and Florida (55). 

California alone had more abortion facilities than the 34 states with the fewest number of them combined and nearly as many clinics as could be found in the entire South, according to the study

As CBN News has reported, California is moving to dramatically expand and fund the number of abortions performed in the state. It is nationally known for its pro-abortion laws and policies and is positioning itself to serve as an abortion destination for women in states that would implement abortion bans in a post-Roe America.

California has even set up its own advisory Future of Abortion Council, a coalition of 40 pro-abortion groups whose goal is “to Protect, Strengthen, and Expand Abortion Services in California.” 

Pro-life advocates, organisations, individuals respond to ruling
Friday’s ruling by the high court was applauded by pro-life organisations and advocates across the country. 

In a statement, Franklin Graham, president, and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said: “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. The radical left is calling for a ‘night of rage,’ pregnancy centres are already being vandalised and attacked, and our US 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,” Graham continued. “My prayer is that every state will enact protections for children in the womb and that our nation will value life and recognise the rights of our most vulnerable.”

Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia noted this was a day “to celebrate the right of life of babies around the nation.”

“Pro-Life advocates have worked for a generation to protect life, and we are thrilled that the Supreme Court finally recognised the horrific legal precedent of Roe and ruled in the favour of protecting life,” Cobb said. “Today, we pause to celebrate the right to life of babies around the nation being protected, but tomorrow the work begins in Virginia to protect life throughout the Commonwealth.”

Bart Barber, the newly-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention also responded to Friday’s ruling. 

“Southern Baptists rejoice at the ruling that the United States Supreme Court has delivered today in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” Barber said in a statement. “Since 1980, the Southern Baptist Convention has passed more than 20 resolutions on the question of abortion. We have consistently held these principles:

  • That from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death all human beings are made in the image of God.
  • That every human being is valuable and deserves to be loved and protected, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, socio-economic status, disability, intelligence, or utility to society.
  • That elective abortion should be prohibited by law except in cases wherein the life of the mother is endangered by carrying the baby to term.
  • That expectant mothers facing difficult circumstances deserve the love and support of the church, the community, and society.”

“These principles have motivated both our consistent support of the pro-life movement and our consistent support of crisis pregnancy centers, ministries to low-income families, foster care and adoption agencies, and other ministries of mercy to people in need. As we stated just days ago in a resolution at our 2022 Annual Meeting, in the post-Roe United States, “We commit to stand with and pray for abortion-vulnerable women, to eliminate any perceived need for the horror of abortion, and to oppose Planned Parenthood and other predatory organizations or institutions who exploit vulnerable women for profit.” State-by-state, mother-by-mother, heart-by-heart, we will continue our sacred work toward this goal,” Barber’s statement concluded. 

In a statement, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said, “Life wins!”

“Life wins! Millions of Americans are celebrating today’s ruling and a pro-life movement that has worked tirelessly for decades. For a half-century, unelected judges have dictated America’s abortion laws. This historic ruling rightfully returns power to the American people to enact laws that protect unborn children and support mothers everywhere,” McDaniel saidl “As this debate now returns to the states and the American people, we know there is still much work ahead. Republicans will continue to advocate for life, uphold the law, and stand against an extreme Democrat Party’s pro-abortion agenda.”

Dr James Dobson, founder and president of the Dr James Dobson Family Institute noted in a statement that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Praise God! We have just received the news for which we have been praying and working! After nearly 50 years, a majority of Supreme Court justices, who refused to be intimidated by threats and violence, have finally struck down Roe v Wade,” Dobson said. 

“Roe was built on a lie that somewhere hidden in our Constitution there existed a right to destroy children in the womb. The ruling in 1973 shocked the nation and divided the country. It was an exercise in raw judicial power. History will judge it as one of the court’s most shameful moments. But now the court has corrected its mistake,” the founder of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institue, noted. 

“Roe is dead, and, as a result, millions of innocent babies will have a chance to live and be welcomed into the world and protected by the promises of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence,” Dobson said. “All of us who fought so hard to save innocent babies and to end the exploitation of women by the abortion industry has cause to celebrate and to thank God. This is a tremendous day for our country.”

But Dobson also reminded pro-life individuals that the battle for life is not over, but the decision will now rest in each of the states. 

“But the battle is not over. The court has taken the issue of abortion and returned it to the states. The people of each state will now have the opportunity to debate and to try to persuade their fellow citizens. Then they can reach their own conclusions on the fundamental issue of the sanctity of life and pass laws that reflect that consensus. All of us at JDFI will continue to be in that battle, and I pray to God you will be there, too,” Dobson concluded. 

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3 Comments

  1. Former President Barack Obama has denounced today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and abortion rights, releasing a statement saying, “Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

    Obama continued, “Across the country, states have already passed bills restricting choice. If you’re looking for ways to respond, @PPFA, @USOWomen, and many other groups have been sounding the alarm on this issue for years—and will continue to be on the front lines of this fight.

  2. Right To Life
    By Marge Piercy

    A woman is not a basket you place
    your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
    hen you can slip duck eggs under.
    Not the purse holding the coins of your
    descendants till you spend them in wars.
    Not a bank where your genes gather interest
    and interesting mutations in the tainted
    rain, any more than you are.

    You plant corn and you harvest
    it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
    in the pasture to fatten and haul it in to
    butcher for chops. You slice the mountain
    in two for a road and gouge the high plains
    for coal and the waters run muddy for
    miles and years. Fish die but you do not
    call them yours unless you wished to eat them.

    Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
    You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
    fields for growing babies like iceberg
    lettuce. You value children so dearly
    that none ever go hungry, none weep
    with no one to tend them when mothers
    work, none lack fresh fruit,
    none chew lead or cough to death and your
    orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
    restaurants serve poor children steaks.
    At this moment at nine o’clock a partera
    is performing a table top abortion on an
    unwed mother in Texas who can’t get
    Medicaid any longer. In five days she will die
    of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
    and be taken away. Next door a husband
    and wife are sticking pins in the son
    they did not want. They will explain
    for hours how wicked he is,
    how he wants discipline.

    We are all born of woman, in the rose
    of the womb we suckled our mother’s blood
    and every baby born has a right to love
    like a seedling to sun. Every baby born
    unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
    due in twenty years with interest, an anger
    that must find a target, a pain that will
    beget pain. A decade downstream a child
    screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
    a firing squad is summoned, a button
    is pushed and the world burns.

    I will choose what enters me, what becomes
    of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
    no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
    not your uranium mine, not your calf
    for fattening, not your cow for milking.
    You may not use me as your factory.
    Priests and legislators do not hold shares
    in my womb or my mind.
    This is my body. If I give it to you
    I want it back. My life
    is a non-negotiable demand.

  3. None of the 23 states about to ban or restrict abortion offer paid family leave. Will Christians support them?