USA – The end of the constitutional right to abortion

After nearly 50 years, on Friday 24 June, the conservative-dominated US Supreme Court abrogated the Roe vs. Wade ruling guaranteeing women’s right to terminate pregnancies – the verdict was passed by a vote of six to three. The US Supreme Court has considered that this ruling was a mistake, as the US Constitution does not contain any provision on the right to abortion. As a consequence of this action, each state will be able to independently introduce restrictions or bans on the legality of abortion.

The current situation in the USA originates from the Roe vs. Wade ruling of 1973.
This judgment concerned 21-year-old Norma McCorvey, who was pregnant for the third time.  In Dallas, Texas, the woman’s friends advised her to lie that she had been raped in order to qualify for a legal abortion because, according to their erroneous assumption, the law in Texas allowed abortions in cases of rape and incest. The truth, however, was different, because Texas law only permitted legal abortions in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. Consequently, Norma McCorvey was refused a legal abortion and tried to get one illegally on her own. Due to the fact that the illegal abortion facility was closed by the police, the woman contacted lawyers.
The woman’s case was heard by the US Supreme Court in the early 1970s, which made abortion legal in the USA throughout the whole pregnancy period, provided that the states were allowed to introduce regulations restricting the possibility of abortion in the second and third trimester. The court pointed out that every woman has the right to an abortion as it derives from the rights to privacy and liberty guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Both while the validity of the Roe vs. Wade ruling was being considered and after it was abrogated, the people of the United States were demonstrating.

President Joe Biden, in his speech from the White House on 24 June, stated that the ruling was a threat to the health of many women. The American president noted that, in his view, the 1973 ruling was correct in terms of constitutional law and the application of the fundamental right to privacy and liberty. Biden blamed former president Donald Trump for the Supreme Court’s decision, saying that the “core” for today’s decision “to eliminate a fundamental right of women” in the US was “three judges nominated by one president, Donald Trump”. As a result, state laws banning abortion automatically go into effect today, he continued. The president also announced that he would do everything possible to protect women’s rights and that his administration would use every means legally possible to protect women as they travel between states seeking their right to abortion.

Currently, after the Supreme Court’s verdict, abortion is already banned in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Ohio

In the following states abortion will be banned or restricted in the upcoming days, weeks and months

  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina

In the following states, abortion is legal or is expected to continue to be legal:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Rhode Island
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Washington

While in the following states the law remains unclear:

  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North
  • Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia

You might be also interested in...