June 24, 2022 Roe v. Wade news

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:19 a.m. ET, June 25, 2022
11 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:52 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Pelosi calls Roe ruling "outrageous and heart-wrenching," vows to make it a midterm issue

From CNN's Annie Grayer

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Supreme Court's "cruel ruling" overturning Roe v. Wade is "outrageous and heart-wrenching."  

“Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.  Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party and their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers," Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi vowed that Democrats will keep fighting to "enshrine Roe v. Wade into law."

“A woman’s fundamental health decisions are her own to make, in consultation with her doctor and her loved ones – not to be dictated by far-right politicians," she said.

“This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching.  But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November,” her statement continued.

11:31 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is similar to the draft leaked earlier this year

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue

The final opinion released by the Supreme Court on Friday is strikingly similar to the draft written by Justice Samuel Alito that was leaked earlier this year. It repeats Alito’s scornful language towards the original Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined abortion rights. 

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” both the formal and draft said. “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 and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”  

Like the draft opinion, Alito included a list of cases that also rested on a right to privacy, as Alito asserted that Roe was distinct from those cases. 

“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,’” Alito wrote, in a line that was also present in the draft. 

So what's new? Alito’s response to the dissent, jointly written by the three liberal justices. The dissent would not have been written at the time that the ultimately leaked draft was circulated around the court. 

“The dissent is very candid that it cannot show that a constitutional right to abortion has any foundation, let alone a ‘deeply rooted’ one, ‘in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” Alito wrote. “The dissent does not identify any pre-Roe authority that supports such a right — no state constitutional provision or statute, no federal or state judicial precedent, not even a scholarly treatise.” 

In that four-page section, Alito said that the dissent’s failure “engage with this long tradition is devastating to its position.” 

11:23 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Former President Obama criticizes Supreme Court ruling on abortion

(Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
(Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama criticized Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, saying the court “not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Read his statement:

 

Former first lady Michelle Obama also issued a statement Friday saying she was “heartbroken” over the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I am heartbroken for people around this country who just lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies,” Obama wrote.

She wrote that the decision “must be a wake-up call, especially to the young people who will bear its burden.”

11:30 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Key lines from the majority opinion: "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion"

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.   

Here are key lines from the majority opinion: 

  • “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.”
  • “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 and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
  • “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
  • “The dissent argues that we have “abandon[ed]” stare de- cisispost, at 30, but we have done no such thing, and it is the dissent’s understanding of stare decisis that breaks with tradition.”
  • “We end this opinion where we began. Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not pro- hibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
10:36 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

New York "will always be a safe haven for anyone seeking an abortion," state's attorney general pledges

Attorney General Letitia James speaks about protecting abortion access in New York on May 9.
Attorney General Letitia James speaks about protecting abortion access in New York on May 9. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images)

New York Attorney General Letitia James has responded to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a decision that holds that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.

“The Supreme Court's vicious decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is one of the darkest moments in the history of this nation. Make no mistake: While other states strip away the fundamental right to choose, New York will always be a safe haven for anyone seeking an abortion," James tweeted.

“I will work tirelessly to ensure our most vulnerable and people from hostile states have access to this lifesaving care. Everyone in this nation deserves the right to make their own decisions about their bodies," she added.

11:30 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Large protests seen outside Supreme Court

Anti-abortion protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, on Friday, June 24.
Anti-abortion protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, on Friday, June 24. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Groups of protesters are demonstrating outside the Supreme Court after the court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Video footage showed them holding signs and chanting through megaphones.

"It's a heartbreaking betrayal of half of the country," former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers said on CNN, choking up a bit while seeing the protesters. "I'm getting — watching the women there — it's emotional."

The opinion is the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades and will transform the landscape of women’s reproductive health in America.

Going forward, abortion rights will be determined by states, unless Congress acts.

10:30 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Biden and senior officials have been preparing for months for Roe v. Wade to be overturned

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

(Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A team of senior White House officials has been preparing for months to respond to a Supreme Court decision stripping nationwide abortion rights.

President Biden has been weighing a number of steps to respond to the ruling, but has been constrained by the law and limits on his executive authority.

The options have been under examination by lawyers, policy aides and political advisers since a draft opinion leaked in May.

But aides have been clear that nothing the President can do would restore the nationwide right to abortion.

Among the options the President is considering:

  • Using executive actions and FDA regulatory steps to expand access to medication abortion (pills), a widely used method that could provide access to women in states where abortions become illegal. The FDA has already approved a regulation making it easier to distribute pills by mail.
  • Declaring a public health emergency through the Department of Health and Human Services. This could shield doctors from legal liability if they treat patients in states where they are not licensed (so, for example, a doctor in Texas could travel to New Mexico to work at a clinic there).
  • Ordering the Justice Department to challenge state laws that would criminalize crossing state lines to obtain an abortion.
  • Working through the FCC to warn users of period tracking apps about their privacy and the potential their data could be used to identify early-stage pregnancy.

10:25 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Roe v. Wade has been struck down. Here's what you need to know about the now-overturned case.

The US Supreme Court just overturned Roe v. Wade, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. 

Here's a look at the details of the now-overturned case:

Case

1971 - The case is filed by Norma McCorvey, known in court documents as Jane Roe, against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas County, who enforced a Texas law that prohibited abortion, except to save a woman’s life.

Decision

Jan. 22, 1973 - The US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, affirms the legality of a woman’s right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman the right to an abortion during the entirety of the pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest for regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters.

The ruling affected laws in 46 states. Full-text opinions by the justices can be viewed here.

Legal Timeline

  • 1971 - The Supreme Court agrees to hear the case filed by Roe against Wade, who was enforcing the Texas abortion law that had been declared unconstitutional in an earlier federal district court case. Wade was ignoring the legal ruling and both sides appealed.
  • December 13, 1971 - The case is argued before the US Supreme Court.
  • October 11, 1972 - The case is reargued before the US Supreme Court.
  • January 22, 1973 - The US Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, affirms the legality of a woman’s right to have an abortion under the Fourteenth amendment to the Constitution.
  • June 17, 2003 - McCorvey (Roe) files a motion with the federal district court in Dallas to have the case overturned and asks the court to consider new evidence that abortion hurts women. Included are 1,000 affidavits from women who say they regret their abortions.
  • September 14, 2004 - A three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans dismisses McCorvey’s motion to have the case overturned, according to the Court’s clerk.
  • May 2, 2022 - In a stunning breach of Supreme Court confidentiality and secrecy, Politico has obtained what it calls a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The opinion in the case is not expected to be published until late June. The court confirms the authenticity of the document on May 3, but stresses it is not the final decision.

The Players

McCorvey - Texas resident who sought to obtain an abortion. Texas law prohibited abortions except to save the pregnant mother’s life. McCorvey was pregnant when she became the lead plaintiff in the case. She gave up the baby for adoption.

McCorvey has since come forward and spoken against abortion. In 1997, McCorvey started Roe No More, an anti-abortion outreach organization that was dissolved in 2008. McCorvey died on February 18, 2017. In the 2020 documentary “AKA Jane Roe,” prior to her death in 2017, McCorvey told the film’s director that she hadn’t changed her mind about abortion but became an anti-abortion activist because she was being paid.

Henry Wade - District attorney of Dallas County from 1951 to 1987. McCorvey sued him because he enforced a law that prohibited abortion, except to save a woman’s life. He died on March 1, 2001.

Sarah Weddington - Lawyer for McCorvey

Linda Coffee - Lawyer for McCorvey

Jay Floyd - Argued the case for Texas the first time

Robert C. Flowers - Reargued the case for Texas

Supreme Court Justice Opinions

  • Majority: Harry A. Blackmun (for The Court), William J. Brennan, Lewis F. Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall
  • Concurring: Warren Burger, William Orville Douglas, Potter Stewart
  • Dissenting: William H. Rehnquist, Byron White
12:17 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court ruling overturns 50 years of precedent, CNN correspondent reports

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, with the opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, is "very similar to that draft opinion that we saw leak"in May, according to CNN's Jessica Schneider.

"This will have immediate effects here. By all estimates, about half of the states are expected to eliminate the right to abortion. We've got about a half-dozen states that have so-called 'trigger laws' that their abortion bans will go into effect immediately or within the next 30 days or next few months," she said.

"And then we have about a dozen states with so-called 'zombie laws' — those are actually abortion laws that were on the books before Roe v. Wade in 1973 that will go back into effect. On the flip side, there are about 16 states and Washington, DC that have sort of amped-up their abortion protections. They are expecting potentially to see an influx of patients coming into their states to actually get abortions for people who are living in states that will soon not be able to get abortions. So this is in fact a landmark ruling here. This is overturning nearly 50 years of precedent," she continued.

Schneider said she and other reporters will be digging into the opinion further.