End of Roe v. Wade: For nearly 50 years, Americans had a constitutional right to abortion. Yesterday, that right was taken away.
Weeks after an unprecedented leak, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade. Meaning, there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. And the legal status of abortion is up to each state. Within hours, bans went into effect in eight states — Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah — with at least five more expected to follow within weeks.
Fill me in.
The ruling came down because of a Mississippi case about whether the state could ban most abortions after 15 weeks. In a 6-3 decision, the conservative supermajority said it could — and in doing so, five justices also decided to overturn Roe. Saying that their predecessors were “egregiously wrong” to give the right to abortion in the first place. Because, as Justice Samuel Alito argued in the majority opinion, ‘it's not in the Constitution, even implicitly.’ Worth noting: The Constitution doesn't actually mention women...in any way. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority in the Mississippi case, but rejected their logic in overturning Roe. And the three dissenting justices — Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor — argued their colleagues had revoked a “50-year-old constitutional right that safeguards women’s freedom and equal station.”
What happens now?
In total, 26 states are expected to ban abortion, leaving more than 33 million women without access to abortion care. Reminder: At least 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by the time they're 45. And they choose to have abortions for lots of reasons, including medically risky pregnancies and maternal health. Now, many will be forced to forego that choice. Which, history shows us, will put women’s lives at serious risk. Especially since abortion providers have already been overwhelmed by demand. Meanwhile, those who have fought to ban abortion for decades are rejoicing.
So what’s being done?
Certain states (see: Connecticut and California) have vowed to be safe havens for abortion access. While others (see: New York) are pouring extra funding into abortion care. And President Joe Biden implored Congress to “restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law.” Meanwhile, many fear this decision will impact other rights, like contraception (including IVF), same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. Since Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the cases that gave us those rights needed to be revisited.
The end of Roe means the end of a constitutional right that, for nearly half a century, gave people agency over their bodies and reproductive choices. Already, the US has the highest maternal mortality rate of developed nations. And studies have shown that number could increase in the wake of abortion bans. While the full picture of a post-Roe world isn’t clear, there’s no debate about the health risks.
PS: With Roe gone, these four advocacy groups promise to keep up the fight.
In light of current events, there’s a lot to read. So we're giving you a look at the articles we've saved, texted, and emailed to our friends...
Where Do Americans Stand on Abortion?…public opinion about abortion is more complex than you might think.
They Searched Online for Abortion Clinics. They Found Anti-Abortion Centers…how one group targets pregnant women on the internet.
A Texas Teenager’s Abortion Odyssey…a glimpse into the future for millions of women, from a state with a near-total abortion ban — even before the SCOTUS decision.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing...but sometimes that’s just what you need.
What a year this week has been. And now's as good a time as ever to take a quick beat. Enter: meditation.
If you struggle to sit still, a guided one can be a great way to get started. Try this app, or these ones, which offer a variety of calming content that’s designed to help improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and even boost focus and happiness. Or if you need to scream it out, try this meditation practice.
Eyes On: The 2022 Midterms
The midterm elections have a big impact on the policies that affect our day-to-day lives. So we’re here to help you Skimm Your Ballot. And Skimm what’s going on next week…
State(s) of Play: On Tuesday, June 28, there are primary elections in Colorado (Senate, House, Governor), Illinois (Senate, House, Governor), New York (Senate, Governor), Oklahoma (Senate, House, Governor), Utah (Senate, House), and primary runoff elections in Mississippi.
In Colorado, redistricting created a new competitive House district just north of Denver — and increased the odds that Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) will keep her seat.
In Illinois, Rep. Bobby Rush (D) is retiring after three decades serving Chicago’s South Side. Now, 17 Dems are running to replace him, including one of Jesse Jackson’s sons.
In New York, voters will head to polls for the first of two primaries. In this one, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) — who took office after Andrew Cuomo’s resignation — is running for her first full term. While she has the advantage over the Dems, the GOP race is much tighter. Rep. Lee Zeldin and Andrew Giuliani (yes, the son of Rudy Giuliani) are in an almost dead heat, according to one poll. Meanwhile, both parties' primaries for the seat held by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) are uncontested.
In Oklahoma, voters get to choose two Senate nominees. The first is for the office held by incumbent James Lankford (R), who some expect will keep his seat. The second is to replace Sen. James Inhofe (R), who is retiring. With 13 candidates in that GOP primary, it’s a crowded race.
In Utah, for the first time ever, there won’t be a Democrat running in the Senate election. That’s because Dems opted to back Evan McMullin, an independent. He’ll likely face incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R), who is expected to win over his two GOP challengers.
PS: The results of these elections are up to the voters. Click here to learn more about how to make your vote count.
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