Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade after fifty years


The Supreme Court confirmed the right to have an abortion in the case of Roe v Wade on Jan. 22, 1973. On June 20, 2022, it was overturned. 

The vote

Five out of the nine supreme justices chose to overturn the law for abortions. The members of the Court who voted on the overturn included Samuel Alito, Clarence Thoman, Niel Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. 

State variations

According to out of the 50 states in the United States,  California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine have protections for abortions. The remaining states have either already decided to ban or are in the decision to. 

The has an interactive map that shows different state policies on abortion.


The states that have implanted the no abortion laws have varying consequences for the mother who was found guilty of having an abortion. 

Ohio and Alabama have a penalty of jail time up to one year. 

South Dakota and South Carolina have jail time for up to two years. 

North Carolina has a three year jail sentence with an unknown fine. 

Idaho, North Dakota, Arizona, Kentucky and Oklahoma have up to five years. States with up to ten years are Mississipi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia and Georgia. States with up to 14 years are Wyoming. 

States with up to 15 years are Utah, Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee. 

In Texas, a person can serve up to life for having and abortion. 

Across state lines

In many instances, pregnant people who want to terminate their pregnancy but are in a state that does not allow abortions have to cross state lines into a state that does allow abortions. 

According to NPR, one example of this is the ten-year old from Ohio, who was pregnant, and had to go to Indiana to terminate her pregnancy. The doctor was then harassed for preforming the abortion. 

Terms to know

The Supreme Court is a court that is in charge of ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under the law. The Supreme Court is made up of nine people. The chief justice, John Roberts, and the eight associate justices, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kargan, Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Gorsuch, Bret Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

An abortion is a medical procedure to terminate a fetus, typically done within the first trimester of a pregnancy. Many things can effect the choices of having an abortion, in some choices it may not even be what the mother wants. One of many examples of needing an abortion, is an ectopic pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg grows outside the mother’s womb, leading to major health issues and a potential death of both the mother and fetus.

From the beginning of legalizing abortions, there have been two separate groups, pro-choice and pro-life. 

Pro-choice means you advocate on the decision whether mothers can choose to go through with a pregnancy or the choice to terminate the fetus. 

Pro-life is when you advocate against the idea of abortions, you protest for the life of the fetus growing within the womb. The ban of abortions was ultimately decided by the supreme court.

Feature image: NADIA CENICEROS/Ethic News image

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