WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – The US Supreme Court overturned liberal abortion laws in the United States after nearly half a century. A far-reaching decision has serious ramifications for pregnant women in the country. On Friday, Washington’s largely conservative Supreme Court paved the way for stricter abortion laws – including outright bans in individual states. US President Joe Biden called the decision a “tragic mistake.” Some fear that same-sex marriage or the right to contraception may also come under scrutiny in the future.
By a court decision, the existing right to abortion from 1973 in the USA has gone down in history. The verdict is considered a political earthquake – mass protests are expected. About half of the states should now have severe restrictions or even a ban on abortion. “The constitution does not grant the right to abortion,” reads the verdict. The decision is not surprising: the draft was published in early May. It already showed that the court intended to adjudicate in this way. The verdict is now as drastic as expected.
There is no federal law in the United States that allows or prohibits abortion. However, abortions are allowed at least until the fetus is viable – today around week 24. This has so far been ensured by a US Supreme Court ruling of 1973 known as Roe v. Wade is known. Another ruling in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, largely strengthened and adapted the case law. The Supreme Court overturned these decisions.
Today’s conservative majority in the US Supreme Court has not held back from disciplining its predecessors. “Roe was very wrong from the day of his decision and was on a collision course with the constitution. Casey continued with his mistakes,” the statement read. The “power to regulate” abortion rights would now be returned to the people and their elected representatives – that is, states. In Germany, abortion was not punishable in the first twelve weeks since 1995 if the woman had previously consulted.
In the United States, abortion rights have been hotly debated many times. Opponents have been trying to overturn liberal rules for decades. However, a court decision as drastic as the present one seemed impossible a few years ago. Under the previous president Donald Trump The Supreme Court then clearly shifted to the right. The Republican appointed Judges Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett during his tenure. They all voted to abolish the right to abortion – along with conservative judges Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. However, President John Roberts made it clear that he did not want to limit the right to abortion to such a drastic degree.
Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan and Judge Stephen Breyer voted against the decision. They are considered liberal. “After today, young women will grow up with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers,” she said in her dissenting opinion. Most decided without wondering what it meant to deprive women of the right to an abortion.
The statement by the ultra-conservative Judge Clarence Thomas caused a great horror. He wrote that decisions guaranteeing the right to contraception, same-sex marriage or same-sex intercourse also deserve to be reviewed. Other conservative judges, however, stressed that the present judgment did not question these precedents. Regarding Thomas, Biden warned of the “extreme” and “dangerous” path taken by the court.
But why did the court even deal with this topic? The background is the Mississippi abortion law, which prohibits almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy – a law that, according to previous jurisprudence, was in fact unconstitutional. The conservative state called on the Supreme Court to hear the case. The fact that the court had even dealt with it has already been taken as a sign that Roe v. The calf can be tipped.
The decision now stipulates that states may leave it to states to regulate their abortion laws. This is considered particularly drastic. Some states have already prepared bills that could enter into force immediately if previous jurisprudence is invalidated – the so-called It is primarily the arch-conservative states of the South and Midwest that want to ban abortion completely or almost completely.
On the other hand, liberal states like New York and California have laws that explicitly protect the right to abortion. For now, nothing should change in these states. For pregnant women, this decision means traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to reach an abortion clinic. Many cannot afford it. There is concern that more and more women will try to get an abortion on their own.
In early May, US President Biden’s Democrats tried to introduce abortion laws, but failed in the Senate. The vote was primarily symbolic. Democrats with their tiny majority cannot pass such a law easily. Moreover, there was not even unity in their own ranks. Biden cannot simply restore abortion by decree – he is dependent on Congress.
Democrats hope to rally the cause for the US elections in November. They argue that the clear majority can pass laws that will guarantee the right to abortion in law. However, according to polls, they are likely to lose the majority. Only a minority of the US population that supported Roe v. The calf is tilted. Since the 1970s, according to the Gallup Institute, a majority has advocated the right to abortion – with restrictions or under all circumstances.
Some states, such as Texas, have recently overturned this, bypassing civil law. The law there forbids any abortions after the fetal heart rate has been established. This can happen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. What is unusual about the law is that it allows private persons to bring a civil action against anyone who helps with an abortion. This legal trick also makes it especially difficult to challenge the law in court. / Nau / DP / mis