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
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11:09 a.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Ruling opens door for reconsidering rights to gay marriage and contraception

From CNN's Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue

The Supreme Court’s opinion on abortion Friday could open the door for courts to overturn same-sex marriage, contraception and other rights. 

It’s already set off a debate among justices over whether overturning Roe puts those precedents in danger. 

The majority opinion attempted to wall of its holding in Friday’s abortion case from those other rulings, but Justice Clarence Thomas wrote separately to call explicitly for those other rulings to be revisited – a concurrence that the liberals seized upon to argue that those rulings are now at risk. 

In their dissent, the liberal justices wrote “no one should be confident that this majority is done with its work.” 

“The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone,” they wrote. “To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation. Most obviously, the right to terminate a pregnancy arose straight out of the right to purchase and use contraception. In turn, those rights led, more recently, to rights of same-sex intimacy and marriage.” 

The liberals added: “Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat. It is one or the other.”  

Justice Samuel Alito, in a new section of the opinion that was not present in the leaked draft, responded to the dissenters’ warnings. 

He emphasized a line the majority opinion that said “[n]othing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” 

“We have also explained why that is so: rights regarding contraception and same-sex relationships are inherently different from the right to abortion because the latter (as we have stressed) uniquely involves what Roe and Casey termed ‘potential life,’” Alito said. 

Alito’s assertions were undercut by a concurrence by Justice Thomas, who explicitly called for the court to reconsider its rulings striking down state restrictions on contraceptives, state sodomy bans and state prohibitions on same sex marriage. 

“Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’” Thomas wrote, “we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.” 

The liberal dissenters used Thomas’ concurrence to go after Alito’s assurances that the court was not putting those precedent at risks by overturning Roe. 

“The first problem with the majority’s account comes from JUSTICE THOMAS’s concurrence — which makes clear he is not with the program. In saying that nothing in today’s opinion casts doubt on non-abortion precedents, JUSTICE THOMAS explains, he means only that they are not at issue,” the liberals wrote, as they quoted from Thomas’ concurrence. 

“So at least one Justice is planning to use the ticket of today’s decision again and again and again,” they said.

12:20 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Pelosi on SCOTUS ruling: "The hypocrisy is raging, but the harm is endless"

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reacts to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, at the Capitol in Washington, on Friday, June 24.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reacts to the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, at the Capitol in Washington, on Friday, June 24. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called Friday's Supreme Court ruling a hypocrisy that will cause endless harm.

"The hypocrisy is raging, but the harm is endless. What this means to women is such an insult. It's a slap in face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom," she said Friday.

She again criticized the Republicans for supporting pregnancy but opposing "any family planning."

"I always have said: determination of a pregnancy is just their opening act. It's just their front game. Behind it and for years, I have seen in this Congress, opposition to any family planning domestic or global."

Looking ahead to the November elections, she said, reproductive freedom will be on the ballot.

"This is deadly serious," she said. "A woman's right to choose, reproductive freedom is on the ballot in November. We cannot allow them to take charge so that they can institute their goal which is to criminalize reproductive freedom."

12:18 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Pelosi: "Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on June 24, 2022.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on June 24, 2022. (Pool)

Speaking after the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Republicans are "plotting a nationwide abortion ban."

"They cannot be allowed to have majority in the Congress to do that. But that's their goal," she said Friday.

Juxtaposing the Friday ruling against Thursday's ruling on guns, Pelosi criticized the court's stance.

"Such a contradiction. Yesterday, to say the states cannot make laws governing the constitutional right to bear arms. And today, they're saying the exact reverse that the states can overturn a constitutional right — for 50 years a constitutional right for women having the right to choose."

"The hypocrisy is raging, but the harm is endless," she added.

12:15 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Broad majority of Americans didn't want Roe v. Wade overturned, polling prior to decision shows

From CNN's Ariel Edwards-Levy

Abortion rights activists react in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 24.
Abortion rights activists react in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 24. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

A broad majority of Americans did not want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, polling taken before the Supreme Court's decision shows. Here's a recap of the latest data on the public's views of abortion, from CNN and elsewhere:

Views on overturning Roe vs. Wade 

In a May CNN poll conducted immediately after the leak of the Supreme Court's draft opinion, Americans said, 66% to 34%, that they did not want the Supreme Court to completely overturn its decision. In CNN's polling dating back to 1989, the share of the public in favor of completely overturning Roe has never risen above 36%.

Just 17% of Americans in the CNN poll said they'd be happy to see Roe vs. Wade overturned, with 12% saying they'd be satisfied, 21% that they'd be dissatisfied, 36% that they'd be angry, and 14% that they wouldn't care. Most Democrats (59%) and nearly half of adults younger than 35 (48%) said they'd be angry. And a 59% majority of Americans said they'd support Congress passing a law to establish a nationwide right to abortion, with just 41% opposed.

In a May CBS/YouGov poll, 63% of Americans said they expected that overturning Roe would make abortion access harder for poor women, with 58% saying it would make abortion access more difficult for women of color. Fewer expected similar difficulties for White women (35%) or wealthy women (19%). And a majority of women (54%) said that generally, overturning Roe would make life worse for most American women. 

Views on state abortion laws

In the CNN poll, 58% of US adults said that, if Roe were overturned, they'd want their state to set abortion laws that were more permissive than restrictive. About half (51%) said they'd like to see their state become a safe haven for women who wanted abortions but couldn't get them where they lived. 

But not everyone was aware in advance how their own state would be affected. Of Americans living in states with trigger laws to immediately ban abortion after the overturn of Roe, only 45% realized that was the case, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in May. Another 42% living in those states were unsure what the impact of the ruling would be where they live.

Political implications

It's still too soon to know how views on abortion might shift in the wake of the Court's decision, or to forecast how the aftermath of the decision might affect the upcoming election. There are some early signs that the blow to abortion access could be particularly motivational to abortion rights supporters. A significant share of core Democratic backers such as young people and women said they would be angry in the wake of the ruling, and several surveys this spring found Democratic voters more likely than Republican voters to see abortion as a highly relevant issue to this year's election. But it’s less clear how that motivation might manifest itself, or to what extent it'll alter the overall political landscape. 

A May poll from Monmouth University found that 48% of Democrats considered a candidate’s alignment with their views on abortion to be extremely important to their vote, up from 31% in 2018; among Republicans, the number was 29%, down from 36% four years ago.

CNN polling conducted immediately before and after the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade found a 7-point rise in the share of Americans who said their views on abortion align more with Democrats than Republicans. But there was little immediate evidence of a sea change in any of the Republicans’ early advantages heading into the midterms.

Views of the Supreme Court

The decision could also affect Americans' views of the Supreme Court. Following the leak of the draft opinion, Marquette Law School polling found, public approval of the Court fell, from 54% in March to 44% in May. The change was largely due to a shift among Democrats: while 49% of Democrats approved of the Supreme Court in March, just 26% felt the same in May. Marquette's May poll also found that 23% of Americans viewed the Supreme Court as "very conservative," an uptick from 15% in March.

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

"With sorrow": How the court's 3 liberal justices closed their dissent

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan issued a dissenting opinion to the Supreme Court's decision that strikes down Roe v. Wade.

In their joint opinion, the three justices heavily criticized the majority, closing:

“With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”  
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.”