US Supreme Court ends constitutional right to abortion

By: AFP
Published: 08:29 PM, 24 Jun, 2022
US Supreme Court ends constitutional right to abortion
Caption: US Supreme Court ends constitutional right to abortion.
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The US Supreme Court on Friday ended the right to abortion in a seismic ruling that shreds half a century of constitutional protections on one of the most divisive and bitterly fought issues in American political life.

The conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark 1973 "Roe v Wade" decision that enshrined a woman's right to an abortion and said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," the court said.

Biden slams 'extreme' Supreme Court for 'tragic error' on abortion

President Joe Biden Friday slammed the US Supreme Court for ending the right to abortion, accusing it of putting women's lives at risk in the name of an "extreme ideology." 

"The court has done what it has never done before, expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans," Biden said.

"It's a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view."

US ending abortion right a 'huge blow' to human rights : UN

The decision by the US Supreme Court on Friday to end the right to abortion is "a huge blow to women's human rights and gender equality," UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said.

"Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human right law and is at the core of women and girls' autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives," Bachelet said in a statement.

"This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights."

More than 50 countries with restrictive laws have relaxed their abortion laws in the past 25 years, the former Chilean president said. 

"With today's ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend."

The ruling does not make terminations illegal but returns the United States to the situation before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973, when each state was free to allow them or not.  

Several US states announced measures to ban abortions in their jurisdiction shortly after the court's announcement. 

Canada PM Trudeau slams 'horrific' US abortion ruling

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday slammed the US Supreme Court decision to throw out the right to abortion in the United States.

"The news coming out of the United States is horrific," he said in a Twitter message. "No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body."

The US top court's six judges named by Republican presidents overturned the landmark 1973 "Roe v. Wade" decision that enshrined the right to an abortion, saying that individual states can now permit or restrict the procedure themselves. The three Democratic appointees dissented.

In his statement, Trudeau expressed sorrow and sympathy for the millions of American women set to lose their legal right to an abortion

"I can't imagine the fear and anger you are feeling right now," he said, while reassuring women in Canada that he would "always stand up for your right to choose."

Abortions in Canada are legal at all stages of pregnancy and are funded by the government health care system.

Following a May leak of the US high court's draft decision on abortion, a senior minister said American women could access the medical procedure in Canada.

Macron condemns US abortion ruling as challenge to women's freedoms

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday condemned the US Supreme Court's landmark ruling striking down the right to abortion, saying it was a challenge to women's freedoms.

"They must be protected. I express my solidarity with women whose freedoms are today challenged by the Supreme Court of the United States of America," Macron tweeted.

On Friday, the conservative-dominated court overturned the landmark 1973 "Roe v. Wade" decision enshrining a woman's right to an abortion, saying individual states can restrict or ban the procedure themselves -- which half appear poised to do.

The Supreme Court ruling will likely set in motion a cavalcade of new laws in roughly half of the 50 US states that will severely restrict or outright ban and criminalise abortions, forcing women to travel long distances to states that still permit the procedure.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.