Washington: Millions of women in the US are expected to lose the legal right to abortion as the country`s Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling that legalised it nationwide. The court struck down the landmark Roe vs Wade decision. The judgement will transform abortion rights in the US, with individual states now having the power to ban the procedure. Half of the US states are expected to introduce new restrictions or bans. Thirteen have already passed so-called trigger laws that will automatically outlaw abortion following the Supreme Court`s ruling. A number of others are likely to pass new restrictions quickly.
In total, abortion access is expected to be cut off for about 36 million women of reproductive age, according to research from Planned Parenthood, a healthcare organisation that provides abortions, reported IANS.
What is the Roe V Wade case?
Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey, also known by the pseudonym “Jane Roe”, was the plaintiff in the landmark American legal case Roe v. Wade. ‘Wade’ was Henry Wade, the defendant who was the Dallas County (Texas) district attorney at the time. In that historic judgement, ‘Roe’ struck down laws which made abortion illegal in several states of the United States. The ruling said that abortion would be allowed till there is foetal viability. Foetal viability means the time after which a foetus can survive outside a woman’s womb. At the time of the judgement, foetal viability was around 28 weeks (7 months). Almost 50 years later, thanks to advanced medical science, 23-24 weeks are considered to be the viability
The current judgement:
It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favoured preserving Roe, according to opinion polls. Justice Samuel Alito, in the final opinion issued on 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. 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, reported the Associated Press.
(With Agency inputs)