The tide has turned on abortion

Jun 29, 2022 by

by Lizzie Francis, The Critic:

On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) delivered its long-awaited judgement in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health. In a highly anticipated and hugely significant 6-3 decision, the Justices of the top American court overturned the controversial Roe v Wade ruling from 1973. This ruling had put the U.S. on a list of only six countries to have legalised abortion “on-demand” throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Now, everything changes.

Dobbs considered the Mississippi Gestational Age Act that protects unborn life at a lower stage of gestation than the rest of the U.S. SCOTUS made it clear that there is no constitutional right to abortion and has now recognised the authority of each American state to decide its own abortion policies. In delivering the Court’s majority opinion, Justice Alito summarised:

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 [has] enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.

In some States, voters may believe that the abortion right should be even more extensive than the right that Roe…recognized. Voters in other States may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an “unborn human being”.

The significance of this decision cannot be underestimated. Inevitably, it represents an enormous paradigm shift in the U.S. that has sent shockwaves across the world.

While the decision does not directly impact British abortion laws, it certainly reopens a debate that many people have feared too controversial to enter into.

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