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Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade


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

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.  Already, nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion. “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.”

In a joint dissenting opinion, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan 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.”

The opinion represents the culmination of a decades-long effort on the part of critics of abortion seeking to return more power to the states.  It was made possible by a solid six-member conservative majority — including three of Donald Trump’s nominees.

Chief Justice John Roberts did not join the majority, writing in a concurring opinion that he would not have overturned Roe but instead would have only uphold Mississippi’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks.

The final opinion was strikingly similar to the draft written by Alito that was leaked earlier this year. It repeats his scornful language towards the original Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined abortion rights.

This story is breaking and will be updated.