The Supreme Court voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision Friday, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion after almost 50 years.
The ruling ends federal protection for abortions, allowing individual states to make their own decisions about abortion access. Roughly half of all states are expected to ban or drastically reduce abortion. Thirteen states are expected to outlaw abortion almost immediately as a result of “trigger laws” meant to prohibit abortion as soon as Roe was overturned. Indiana does not have a trigger law in place.
The vote was 6-3 in the decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, upholding a Mississppi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The court voted 5-4 to overturn Roe.
Back in May, a leaked draft majority opinion voting to overturn Roe was published by Politico. The draft from February was labeled as the opinion of the court. In it, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start” and said the issue of abortion should be handed to the people’s elected representatives.
Five conservatice justices – Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – sided with Alito in Friday’s ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts, while agreeing to uphold the Mississippi law, wrote that he didn’t support overturning the federal right to abortion.
The court’s three liberal justices, Justices Stephen Bryer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, authored a dissent saying that “when Roe and Casey disappear, the loss of power, control and dignity will be immense.”
Indiana lawmakers will return to the Statehouse for a special session starting July 6. Gov. Eric Holcomb is asking legislators to send a collective $1 billion back to Hoosiers to combat inflation, but the session would also give lawmakers the opportunity to change abortion legislation.
Friday’s ruling is one of the most significant rulings in recent history and is a rare instance of the reversal of rights.