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The Overturn of Roe v. Wade and What has Happened Since

The U.S. Supreme Court made history on June 24, 2022, making the official decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion no longer exists. 

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority in the U.S. Supreme Court, said the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade “must be overruled” because the arguments were “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to an “abuse of judicial authority.”

The decision, part of which was leaked in May, caused an immediate rolling back of abortion rights in multiple states due to “trigger ban” laws that were already in place. 

As of July 7, abortion is banned in 12 states including South Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina according to a tracker on The Guardian website

Two states have had abortion bans blocked including Utah and Kentucky. Additionally, five states have enacted severe restrictions on abortion access or are expected to ban abortion entirely soon. 

Nearly 11 states have threatened abortion access, but have yet to place any bans or severe restrictions. And Twenty states and Washington, D.C. continue to have abortion completely legalized. 

In the two weeks since the overturn, there have been other various actions by abortion clinics including closings across the country. The only abortion clinic in Mississippi, the Pink House, closed its doors on July 6 and as of July 7, abortion is banned in the state. 

The Pink House is not the only clinic to close. According to The Cut, a clinic in Savannah, Georgia, that survived for 40 years shut its doors within a week of the court’s decision. The University of California San Francisco embarked on a study that found that more than one-fourth of U.S. abortion clinics could be shut down due to this decision.

In response to the actions taken by states since the overturn of Roe, President Biden signed an executive order on July 8 to mitigate some of the restrictions placed on abortion access and restore abortion rights. According to Biden, “the fastest route to restore Roe is to pass a national law codifying Roe.” 

The new executive order adds protection against potential penalties that women seeking abortions may face if they must travel across state lines for the procedure and protects access to contraception. Additionally, this order has taken steps to protect patient privacy and combats digital surveillance related to reproductive health care services, such as period tracking apps. 

At the state level, various states have pushed to become “safe states” for abortion seekers. Maryland recently passed a law mandating that nurse practitioners, physician assistants and midwives to perform abortions, and for insurance companies to cover abortions. The law also increased funding for training to prepare for out-of-state patients coming to Maryland.

As midterm elections approach, there has been a call on Americans to consider abortion rights when voting in their states and consider the potential outcomes.

Gianna is currently a senior at American University in Washington, D.C., and is majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at American University. Gianna enjoys writing about Women's Advocacy, Politics and Pop Culture. She also loves to travel and find hole-in-the-wall restaurants in D.C.
Jordyn Habib

American '24

Jordyn is in her second year at American University double majoring in CLEG and Arab World Studies. She writes about anything in terms of politics, DC news and history, as well as pop culture. She is also a section editor for Her Campus and involved with American's high school model UN conference.
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