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Roe V Wade: US Supreme Court overturns Controversial Abortion Ruling

24 June 2022
Judge's hammer over Roe V Wade

Today the US Supreme Court has handed down an opinion which overturns Roe v Wade, the controversial 1973 opinion which ruled that abortion up to 20 weeks was a constitutional right.

The final ruling also said Planned Parenthood v Casey, a subsequent ruling that maintained Roe v Wade should be quashed.

Last month in a draft ruling that was sensationally leaked to POLITICO, Justice Samuel Alito said: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start” and “Roe and Casey must be overruled.” He added that: “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to people’s elected representatives.”

If effect, today’s ruling returns the issue of abortion to the states and to people’s representatives.

While today’s ruling does not stop abortion in America from happening, some states have already indicated they will pass life affirming laws.

One pro-life campaigner in the States said after the ruling that it ‘changes everything and stops nothing’.

Some campaigners have raised hopes that the outcome from the Supreme Court could have a positive impact here in the UK.

The US Supreme Court was considering Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey in the context of a legal challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks.

Ana­lys­is by CARE’s James Mildred

At the very least, this outcome shines a spotlight on the UK’s abortion laws. Recent statistics showed in 2021, in England and Wales, nearly 215,000 abortions took place. Despite polling showing the wider British public favour stricter abortion laws, the UK has one of the most extreme regimes in the world.

Actually, what the court’s ruling today shows is that at least in America, they are still willing to debate the ethics of abortion. By contrast, here in the UK, policy makers simply do not want to talk about it. Even modest pro-life laws to clarify that sex selective abortion is illegal failed to pass as recently as 2015.

At CARE, we welcome this ruling and also stress how vital it is that in states that now will pass laws stopping abortions that appropriate care for women experiencing crisis pregnancies is put in place.

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In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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