~ JUNE 2022 ~
The moment the country has been bracing for since the leaked draft opinion on the case that would overturn Roe v. Wade was published (and for which reproductive rights activists have been bracing for years) has arrived.
As expected, the Supreme Court officially overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the Dobbs decision on Friday, June 24. This upends 50 years of precedent guaranteeing a Constitutional right to an abortion, and means that abortion will be illegal or severely restricted almost immediately in 22 states. It also means that some other rights the Supreme Court decided could also be on the chopping block—which Justice Clarence Thomas made clear in his concurring opinion.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” he wrote. Reminder: These were the cases that protected the rights to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. So, to translate, Thomas is saying that because the court decided that the foundations for the original Roe and Casey rulings were faulty, rulings based on those same foundations (Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell), should also be “reconsidered.” Call me alarmist, but it sure sounds like Clarence Thomas is ready to take back contraception and gay marriage.
In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “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.”
In their joint dissent, Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer wrote, “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”
For more information about the fall of Roe v. Wade, and what you can do right now, click here.