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The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which provided constitutional protection for the right to abortion, broke down along ideological lines– with the court’s conservatives arguing that earlier precedent was wrongly decided and progressives pointing out what the overturning would do for those seeking medical care and abortions.
Ahead of Biden’s address, the PBS NewsHour’s Nicole Ellis spoke with the NewsHour’s John Yang about the Supreme Court decision. Watch both events in the live player above.
The opinion effectively ends constitutional protections for abortion that were decided nearly 50 years ago in the Roe v. Wade case.
“It was essentially a disagreement on how to judge the Constitution. [Justice Samuel] Alito’s decision looked at, what’s called originalism, this is now the prevailing theory on the court,” PBS NewsHour correspondent John Yang told PBS NewsHour Digital Anchor Nicole Ellis during a June 24 conversation that followed the opinion dropping. “How does [this law] fit in with the history and tradition of history, of the American treatment of, in this case, abortion,” Yang asked.
By contrast, the court’s progressive dissenters spoke about the “consequences” of overturning Roe, he added.
“They look at it in terms of the consequences, consequences that the these laws have, [Justice Stephen] Breyer has long been characterised in his opinions and in his questions in oral arguments, as trying to make the law work for the common man, the common person, the everyday American,” Yang said.
The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.
It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored preserving Roe, according to opinion polls.
Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe v. Wade, that was decided in 1973 and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong and must be overturned.
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