“I am heartbroken today,” former First Lady Michelle Obama said in her June 24 statement after the United States Supreme Court struck down Roe V. Wade in a 6-3 decision in 6–3 decision in — which overrules Roe v. Wade by a 5–4 vote, per Slate. With roughly half of the states in the U.S. immediately outlawing abortion access, Obama, 58, said she was “heartbroken for people around this country who lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies.”
The former First Lady added that the U.S. “may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land,” citing how women “risked losing their lives getting illegal abortions.” Obama lamented that this decision will set the country to a time when “the government denied women control over their reproductive functions, forced them to move forward with pregnancies they didn’t want, and then abandoned them once their babies were born.”
My thoughts on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. pic.twitter.com/9ALSbapHDY
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 24, 2022
“When we don’t understand our history, we are doomed to repeat its mistakes,” she continued. “This horrifying decision will have devastating consequences, and it must be a wake-up call, especially to the young people who will bear its burden. I know this is not the future you chose for your generation – but if you give up now, you will inherit a country that does not resemble you or any of the values you believe in.”
Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and [Casey v. Planned Parenthood] must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.” Roughly 71% of Americans – including majorities of Democrats and Republicans – say decisions about terminating a pregnancy should be left to a woman and her doctor, rather than regulated by the government, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted before the Supreme Court officially released its ruling.
“With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent,” Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan wrote in dissent of the ruling, per the Associated Press.
In his concurring opinion, Supreme Court Clarence Thomas – whose wife is currently embroiled in a scandal due to her alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election wrote that the “purported right to abortion is not a form of ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause.” (h/t Daily Beast). He also added that the Supreme Court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.” These are the ruling that allowed the right to birth control, decriminalized gay sex, and gave same-sex couples the right to marry.