Information leaked in early May on High Court sentiment proved accurate.
On Friday by a 6 – 3 majority, the Supremes overturned the right of a woman’s control over her own body by deciding whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.
What’s been the federal law of the land since the landmark January 22, 1973 Supreme Court ruling is now up to individual states — and Congress at the federal level — to side with or oppose Roe’s overturn.
Nearly half a century ago, it was affirmed by a 7 – 2 High Court majority.
Justices William O. Douglas, William J. Brennan Jr., Potter Stewart, Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun, Lewis F. Powell Jr., and Chief Justice Warren Burger supported the right of a woman to chose.
Justices William Rehnquist and Byron White voted against Roe.
On Friday, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted to overturn Roe.
Chief Justice John Roberts abstained, by separate opinion saying he supports overturned Mississippi law, what banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy instead of 24 weeks established under Roe.
Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan opposed the majority ruling, saying:
“With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent.”
Writing for the majority, Alito said the following:
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start (sic).”
“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak (sic), and the decision has had damaging consequences (sic).”
“And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” adding:
The US Constitution “does not confer a right to abortion.”
Henceforth, regulating abortion is “returned to the people and their elected (federal and state) representatives.”
It’s now up to Congress and state legislatures to decide whether to permit, limit or entirely ban abortions.
According to some estimates, states are about evenly divided on this issue — about half for permitting abortion within limits, the other half for banning it entirely.
How Congress shakes out on this issue will be clearer after November midterms.
If Republicans regain control of both houses as expected, congressional upholding of Friday’s Supreme Court is most likely.
Whether for or against the right of a woman to control her own body has been a divisive issue in the US for time immemorial.
Friday’s ruling by the Supremes left devisiveness unresolved.