Roe v. Wade Finally Overturned

In a rare Friday decision announcement, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson, the most anticipated case of the term, holding that “[t]he Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”  This is a historic and monumental win for the rule of law and the proper role of the courts.

At last, Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have been overturned after decades of litigation by pro-life advocates and those who support following the text of the Constitution.  The authority to regulate abortion is now returned from the federal courts to where it belongs: the people and their elected representatives.

Five Justices (Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett) joined the precise and compelling majority opinion written by Justice Alito, whose draft opinion was leaked back in April in a brazen attempt to intimidate and influence the Justices of the Court.  The majority held:

We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

One thing is for certain, the Justices were not intimidated to change their decision, despite the best efforts of the leaker, intentional violence, “mostly peaceful” protests, and an assassination attempt.

Chief Justice Roberts concurred in the judgment but would not go so far as to wholly overturn Roe and Casey.  The Chief Justice would uphold the Mississippi law in question and potentially any other pre-viability restriction on abortion, so long as the mother of the child has a reasonable amount of time to discover she is pregnant.  As he stated in his concurrence:

I would take a more measured course. I agree with the Court that the viability line established by Roe and Casey should be discarded under a straightforward stare decisis analysis. That line never made any sense. Our abortion precedents describe the right at issue as a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy. That right should therefore extend far enough to ensure a reasonable opportunity to choose, but need not extend any further—certainly not all the way to viability.

Unsurprisingly, the three liberal Justices dissented, basing their arguments on respecting stare decisis––an argument the majority opinion thoroughly dismantles.  As Alito states:

Our Nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated. Nor does the right to obtain an abortion have a sound basis in precedent.

What sharply distinguishes the abortion right from the rights recognized in the cases on which Roe and Casey rely is something that both those decisions acknowledged: Abortion destroys what those decisions call “potential life” and what the law at issue in this case regards as the life of an “unborn human being.” … None of the other decisions cited by Roe and Casey involved the critical moral question posed by abortion. They are therefore inapposite. They do not support the right to obtain an abortion, and by the same token, our conclusion that the Constitution does not confer such a right does not undermine them in any way.

This would not have been possible without the relentless efforts by pro-life lawyers, advocates, and organizations that worked relentlessly to make today’s opinion possible.  The RNLA and the rule of law owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who devoted their lives for such a worthy cause.  Congratulations on a battle well fought!

Now the work begins on the state level to protect life.  Some states have already made the move to do so.  According to Politico:

Twenty-two states are poised to immediately ban the procedure in most or all circumstances, either because they have abortion bans still on their books from before Roe was decided in 1973 or because they’ve passed so-called trigger laws since then mandating that abortion be outlawed if and when Roe is overturned.

RNLA celebrates this historic decision and looks forward to life being protected in every state.  RNLA members can view today's webinar titled "Overturning of Roe: The Landmark Dobbs Decision" on RNLA's website.  If you are not a member, join the RNLA to view!