The Supreme Court released a decision to overturn the landmark case Roe V. Wade, which had previously legalized abortion throughout the United States, on Friday, June 24. The SCOTUS decision was finalized after a draft of the decision was leaked in May, prompting an outpouring of support from pro-choice activists to fight to defend a woman’s right to an abortion.
The SCOTUS decision leaves abortion laws to states to decide. “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the decision said.
The leaked draft decision was penned by Justice Samuel Alito and received support from the four Republican-appointed justices. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” he wrote.
After the initial draft decision was leaked, tons of stars called out the potential SCOTUS decision and warned of the implications that not having safe access to abortions would have for millions of women across the United States. The decision led to nationwide protests to defend the right to safe abortions.
Of course, politicians also weighed in on what overturning Roe v. Wade would mean for women. After the initial leak, President Joe Biden called on Congress to codify the landmark case into law, and he called on voters to elect pro-choice leaders in the November midterm elections. “Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” he wrote at the time.
Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama released a statement, saying that the decision would be for everyone. “The consequences of this decision would be a blow not just to women, but to all of us who believe that in a free society, there are limits to how much the government can encroach on our personal lives,” they said.
Interim President of the Human Rights Campaign, Joni Madison, released a statement following the SCOTUS decision, which stated that HRC — which boasts over 3 million members — “cannot relent” and that they must “fight back.” The statement read, “When the Supreme Court is willing to throw 50 years of precedent out the window, it proves that we are at an exceedingly dangerous, unprecedented moment. The Court’s majority opinion does not reflect the will of our nation – two-thirds of whom support Roe v. Wade – but instead fulfills an extreme, out-of-step, ideological agenda. And it shows that all of our rights are on the line right now, as state lawmakers will be further emboldened to test the limits of our hard-won civil rights. Women are under attack, LGBTQ+ people are under attack, BIPOC people are under attack, and we are justifiably outraged. We cannot relent – we must fight back.”