By Weston Blasi
Americans reacted in June to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade , the landmark 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion access.
In the court’s ruling, telegraphed in a rare court leak , Republican-appointed judges voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade. They ruled 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that a 2018 state law in Mississippi banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was permissible. Chief Justice John Roberts did not back using the latter decision to overturn Roe.
Politicians from both sides of the aisle swiftly reacted to the news from the court. One Democrat claimed that “people will die” because of this ruling, while a Republican applauded the “ courageous and correct ” decision from the court.
Several senators who voted to confirm Supreme Court justices who joined the majority opinion, including several considered swing votes in recent confirmation processes, expressed their disappointment in one or more of the three justices confirmed during the single-term Donald Trump presidency.
One of those senators, the conservative West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, lamented having placed his faith in the two “when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent.”
Republican Susan Collins of Maine, who also voted to confirm Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, expressed similar disappointment.
Both Collins and Manchin voted against Trump’s third court pick , Justice Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed a week before the presidential election in 2020.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin echoed the sentiments of Collins and Manchin , saying this of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, as well as Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s third nominee to the high court, confirmed just a week before the 2020 election: “They misled the committee.”
“They were evasive,” the Illinois Democrat continued, according to Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz.
President Joe Biden denounced the decision by the court to overturn Roe. “Today, the Supreme Court of the United States expressly took away a constitutional right from the American people,” he said, speaking from the White House several hours after the decision.
“ It’s a sad day for the court , and for the country,” Biden said after the ruling came down.
Biden’s predecessor, Trump, credited himself for having orchestrated, through his successful nomination within the span of just four years of three of the current Supreme Court’s justices, “the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation.”
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According to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion access, 26 U.S. states are “certain or likely” to ban abortion now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Some states’ “trigger laws” to immediately ban abortion have already gone into effect .
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Prior to the ruling, polling showed a majority of Americans thought that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned . According to a January poll from CNN , 69% of Americans wanted to keep Roe intact, while 30% wanted the ruling completely overturned.
Polling on the abortion has remained fairly consistent for more than 20 years. Since 1989, between 52% and 66% of U.S. adults have said they want Roe v. Wade to remain in place, according to polling conducted and compiled by Gallup .