President Biden on Friday called the Supreme Court decision that overturns of Roe v. Wade a “tragic error” and implored voters to turn out in November to elect members of Congress willing to write abortion protections into law. Speaking from the White House, Biden said, “This is a sad day for the country in my view, but it doesn’t mean the fight is over.”
Biden said the decision puts reproductive health at risk and singled out Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion, in which he opened the door to the court revisiting decisions on contraception and same-sex marriage. Biden’s comments came hours after the court overturned the fundamental right to abortion established nearly 50 years ago, a stunning reversal that leaves states free to drastically reduce access to or even outlaw abortion.
“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,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote.
The vote was 6 to 3 to uphold a restrictive Mississippi law. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., though, criticized his conservative colleagues for taking the additional step of overturning Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which had reaffirmed the right to abortion.
Roe v. Wade and abortion access in America
What happens next?: The legality of abortion will be left to individual states. That likely will mean 52 percent of women of childbearing age would face new abortion limits. Thirteen states with “trigger bans” will ban abortion within 30 days. Several other states where recent antiabortion legislation has been blocked by the courts are expected to act next.
State legislation: As Republican-led states move to restrict abortion, The Post is tracking legislation across the country on 15-week bans, Texas-style bans, trigger laws and abortion pill bans, as well as Democratic-dominated states that are moving to protect abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade.
How our readers feel: In the hours that followed the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Washington Post readers responded in droves to a callout asking how they felt — and why.