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Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending right to abortion upheld for decades

Anti-abortion activists rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 6.
Drew Angerer
/
Getty Images
Anti-abortion activists rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 6.

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, reversing Roe v. Wade, the court's five-decade-old decision that guaranteed a woman's right to obtain an abortion.

"The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority," the court's conservatives wrote in their majority opinion. The Court overrules those decisions and returns that authority to the people and their elected representatives."

The three liberals dissented.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion of the case, in which Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett joined.

Justices Thomas and Kavanaugh filed concurring opinions. Chief Justice John Roberts filed an concurring opinion.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.

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

This story will be updated.

Nina Totenberg is NPR's award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR's critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.

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