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US Supreme Court overturns landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in effect for nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overthrow Roe v. Wade. The ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in about half of the states. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage for reactions to the decision.

The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court bolstered by three appointees to former President Donald Trump.

The ruling came more than a month after the astonishing leak of a draft opinion from Judge Samuel Alito showing the court was prepared to take this important step.

It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored retaining Roe, according to polls.

Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman’s right to abortion, is perhaps the most famous US Supreme Court ruling. Dating back to 1973, the historic landmark refers to the battle between Jane Roe (not her real name) and the state of Texas, represented by Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade. Roe, who was just 21 years old, was pregnant for the third time and wanted to have an abortion. But like in 45 other US states at the time, Texas law forbade it. She decided to approach two feminist lawyers, who took her case as a symbolic one to go all the way to the…

It took three years of legal wrangling before the Supreme Court made a final decision. By a 7-2 vote, it recognized abortion as a fundamental right guaranteed by the US Constitution, based on a woman’s “right to privacy”.

Nearly 50 years later, the issue continues to divide public opinion. The Supreme Court now has a conservative majority, following the appointment of two new justices by former President Donald Trump. Little by little, local policy has broken down the ruling and clinics that perform abortions are closing one after the other.

>>Almost 50 years after Roe v. Wade, US abortion rights threatened

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