After nearly 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion with its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022.
Friday’s ruling bans all abortions in Louisiana. Under Friday’s decision, each state chooses whether to allow abortions. Louisiana is one of 13 states that bans abortion with the high court decision, while 13 states have laws that restrict the right to abortion.
Friday morning’s ruling triggers a law signed by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco in 2006 that implements an immediate ban in Louisiana on all abortions except those where giving birth would threaten the mother’s life or the mother’s health would be permanently damaged.
The vote to overturn was 6-3 with all six conservative judges in support and the three liberal justices in dissent.
In his first address to the country following the decision, President Joe Biden started his nearly 12-minute speech with “Today, it’s not hyperbole. It suggests a solemn moment.”
Biden said the country’s highest court took away the constitutional right from the American people that was already recognized.
The President spoke of women who are forced to have children of incest or rape.
“Imagine having a young woman having to carry a child as a consequence of incest,” he said. “No option. Too often the case, the poor women are going to be hit the hardest. It’s cruel.”
Biden said there is still a way for women to regain the right to choose.
“This is a sad day for the country in my view but it doesn’t mean the fight’s over,” he said. “The only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose the balance that existed is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe vs. Wade as federal law.”
He said the fall elections will be important in the fight to get the protections of Roe vs. Wade as law of the land.
“We need to elect officials who will do that,” he stated. “This fall, Roe is on the ballot, personal freedoms are on the ballot.”
Despite the ruling, there are still close to 20 states where the right to abortion is protected by state law.
“While the court’s decision cast a dark shadow over a large swath of the land, many states in this country still recognize a woman’s right to choose,” Biden said. “If a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the supreme court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home state to the state that allows it.”
In closing, the president asked all citizens to keep protests peaceful.
“Violence is never acceptable,” he said. “Congress must act, and with your vote, you can act. You can have the final word. This is not over.”