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MILLIONS of women across the United States will be denied access to abortion as the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade decision today, in what has been described as the country’s darkest day.
The court ruled in favour of upholding a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks in a 6-3 majority, sending shock waves across the US.
“The constitution does not confer the right to abortion. Roe and Casey are overruled and the authority is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Alito wrote.
Protesters took to the streets in anger as 50 years of the constitutional right to an abortion were scrapped by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court, a decision widely expected after a preliminary decision was leaked last month.
“The Supreme Court’s vicious decision to overturn Roe v Wade is one of the darkest moments in the history of this nation,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said.
“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,” she said.
The group Planned Parenthood, which had led campaigning against plans to overturn the landmark decision vowed to continue the fight.
“We know you may be feeling a lot of things right now — hurt, anger, confusion. Whatever you feel is OK. We’re here with you — and we’ll never stop fighting for you,” it said in a statement.
There are 13 US states that have so-called trigger laws in place, which will lead to an immediate ban on abortion.
They are Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused the Republicans of pushing a “dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.
“With Roe now out of their way, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalise health freedom.
“In the Congress, Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban. In the states, Republicans want to arrest doctors for offering reproductive care and women for terminating a pregnancy.
“GOP extremists are even threatening to criminalise contraception, as well as in-vitro fertilisation and post-miscarriage care,” she said.
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