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Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

The high court's conservative majority reversed a half-century of legal precedent, a move that will reverberate throughout the country and the world.

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please click here for the latest updates.

The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the right to abortion in the United States, undoing decades of legal precedent and paving the way for around half of all states to ban the procedure.

Key highlights:

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please click here for the latest updates.

163d ago / 5:47 AM UTC

Tear gas used during protests outside Arizona Senate building

Law enforcement officers used tear gas during protests outside the Arizona Senate Building after part of a door was broken, the state Department of Public Safety said.

“Earlier tonight a crowd of protesters were pounding on the glass doors of the Senate Building. Part of a door was broken. Tear gas was deployed,” DPS spokesman Bart Graves said in an email.

Gas was used a second time after monuments were allegedly vandalized at a nearby plaza, he said.

There were no arrests, he said.

Arizona Senate Republicans, which are the majority party, tweeted that the Senate was secure but that gas had entered the chambers and they were making other arrangements. The Senate session later resumed and was ongoing Friday night.

163d ago / 5:25 AM UTC

Pedestrian hit by a truck during Iowa protest

A truck hit a person in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday evening, where people were marching after the Supreme Court decision.

Citing preliminary investigations, Cedar Rapids police said a group of protesters was legally crossing the street in front of the U.S. District Court Federal Courthouse when the traffic lights changed.

After a confrontation between the protesters and a driver, a truck "made contact" with a pedestrian, police said.

The pedestrian had injuries that appeared minor, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to police.

Both the driver and pedestrian were interviewed by police. No additional information was released.

Video shows people attempting to stop the truck outside the courthouse.

163d ago / 2:37 AM UTC

St. Louis conservatives and progressives meet at clinic

In St. Louis, demonstrators from the staunch right and progressive left used a Planned Parenthood clinic as a gathering place Friday to mark the Supreme Court's Roe reversal.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the couple known for waving guns from their lawn at social justice demonstrators in 2020, celebrated Friday's ruling, according to NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis. Mark McCloskey is running for the U.S. Senate in Missouri as a Republican.

Among the crowd at the clinic were members of Defenders of the Unborn. "I never thought I would see this day when Missouri would not kill its children," said the group's president, Mary Maschmeier.

U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, who represents the city as a Democrat, voiced frustration and anger about the court's ruling.

"They can strike down Roe v. Wade, but they can’t strike down our voices," she told the crowd outside the clinic. "You have the people of St. Louis. We’re going to care for one another."

She discussed the abortion she had after she was raped at age 17. She said that without the procedure, she would have been forced to give birth to a child "I was not ready for, that I could not provide for."

After her speech, demonstrators chanted "My body, my choice."

The Planned Parenthood location in St. Louis had been the state's only abortion provider. Missouri's trigger law took effect Friday, making abortion a felony.

163d ago / 2:28 AM UTC

'This is intolerable': Protesters rally in Union Square for abortion rights

Hundreds gathered in New York's Union Square on Friday night to protest in favor of abortion rights after the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Crowds erupted, shouting “A-O-C,” as Rep. Alexandria Ocasió Cortez, D-NY, joined the group and urged them to vote in the primaries.

Ohio-native Zonmund Heok, 51, was in New York City on vacation, but after Friday’s court decision she felt compelled to protest in the streets, she said.

After suffering from preeclampsia and giving birth to her now 15-year-old son at just 28 weeks during her pregnancy, Heok’s doctor advised her to get an abortion when she became pregnant shortly afterward.

“To think that if the same thing happened to me next week in Ohio, I would either have to travel out of state or risk my life, and my son would not have a mother, it infuriates me to no end,” Heok said. “Even though it was difficult for me to get here — I don’t know the transportation system — I got in an Uber and paid $60 to let my voice be heard because this is intolerable.”

163d ago / 2:15 AM UTC

Blinken: State Dept. will 'do everything possible' to ensure employee access to reproductive health services

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Friday that the State Department would work to ensure access to reproductive health services to all its employees.

“This Department will do everything possible to ensure that all our employees have access to reproductive health services, wherever they live,” Blinken said. “We will not waiver from this commitment.”

Blinken's statement did not address abortion services specifically, but he said he was compelled to comment after the Supreme Court ruling because it raised "understandable questions and concerns" within the agency's workforce and across the world.

Blinken said in his statement that the department would also continue to advance reproductive rights around the world.

163d ago / 2:03 AM UTC
163d ago / 1:56 AM UTC

Garland signals brewing battle with GOP-led states over access to abortion pills

Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated Friday that the Justice Department would combat any Republican efforts to restrict access to abortion pills after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, setting the stage for potential legal battles with some GOP-led states.

“The Justice Department will work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom,” Garland said in a lengthy statement after the Supreme Court ruling.

He said the agency is “ready to work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care. In particular, the FDA has approved the use of the medication Mifepristone. States may not ban Mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”

The two-drug regimen of medication abortion, as it’s clinically known, was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000. People have been able to get mifepristone by mail since last year, when, due to the pandemic, the FDA suspended a requirement that it be administered in person. The agency made that option permanent in December.

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 1:44 AM UTC

Most abortions now banned in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat became the law in Ohio on Friday following the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Enforcement of Ohio’s 2019 “heartbeat” ban had been on hold for nearly three years under a federal court injunction. The state attorney general, Republican Dave Yost, asked for that to be dissolved because of the high court’s ruling, and a federal judge agreed hours later.

Critics had argued that the measure essentially prohibits abortions because the first detectable fetal heartbeat can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

163d ago / 1:37 AM UTC

Birth control restrictions could follow abortion bans, experts say

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could pave the way for states to restrict access to some contraceptives, two legal experts said.

“The states that are trying to limit abortion from the moment of conception — not even from the moment of pregnancy, as the medical profession would define it — could well try to challenge Plan B, emergency contraception, potentially even IUDs,” said Wendy Parmet, director of the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University.

Those forms of birth control could be an easier target for restrictions than traditional birth control pills, she said, because they prevent implantation — when a fertilized egg attaches to the womb — in addition to fertilization. Some people already consider them abortion-inducing medications for that reason.

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 1:17 AM UTC

Georgia's AG requests state's 'heartbeat law' take effect

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Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has requested that the state's "heartbeat law," which bans abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, take effect, according to a court notice filed Friday.

Carr, a Republican, said in a statement announcing the filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit court, that he believes "in the dignity, value and worth of every human being, both born and unborn."

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is constitutionally correct and rightfully returns the issue of abortion to the states and to the people — where it belongs," Carr said.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law in 2019, but it was immediately challenged in court. 

The abortion battle further intensifies the gubernatorial race in the state.

Kemp is facing pressure to call a special legislative session ahead of the election to enact even stricter abortion laws. If Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, wins in November, any such legislation passed by the GOP-led state house during the regular session, would almost certainly be vetoed. 

163d ago / 1:08 AM UTC

Lizzo, Live Nation pledge $1M to support abortion rights after Roe overturned

The musician Lizzo said Friday she is pledging $500,000 from her upcoming tour in support of abortion rights following the Supreme Court ruling that ended the constitutionally protected right to abortion in the U.S.

Lizzo, who is set to go to on tour in September, tweeted that Live Nation would match the donation to make it $1 million.

The “Truth Hurts” singer tweeted that the donation would be to "Planned Parenthood and Abortion Rights."

She also said proceeds would be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which works to help people with costs, transportation and other forms of support.

Live Nation announced the matching funds and also said it would pay for employees who have to travel out of state for healthcare, and will pay bail for employees arrested for protesting peacefully.

Other celebrities also expressed shock and outrage over the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Taylor Swift tweeted in part that “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are.” Mariah Carey said she would have to explain to her 11-year-old daughter that “women’s rights are disintegrating in front of our eyes.”

163d ago / 1:06 AM UTC

(NBCUniversal News Group is the media partner of Aspen Ideas: Health.)

163d ago / 1:01 AM UTC

Dozens of elected prosecutors say they will refuse to prosecute abortion care

Dozens of elected prosecutors said Friday they would refuse to prosecute those seeking, assisting or providing abortions after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.

Prosecutors from 29 states, territories and Washington, D.C., signed a joint statement that included signatories from states like Mississippi, Missouri and Wisconsin that have banned or are poised to ban abortion services following the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“Not all of us agree on a personal or moral level on the issue of abortion,” said the statement signed by 84 prosecutors, a group that included district attorneys and state attorneys general. “But we stand together in our firm belief that prosecutors have a responsibility to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions. As such, we decline to use our offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions and commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide, or support abortions.”

The prosecutors said enforcing abortion bans would also “hinder our ability to hold perpetrators accountable, take resources away from the enforcement of serious crime, and inevitably lead to the retraumatization and criminalization of victims of sexual violence.”

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 12:48 AM UTC

World Health Organization chief 'concerned and disappointed' after Roe reversal

GENEVA — The head of the World Health Organization says he’s “concerned and disappointed” about the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter that the ruling was “both reducing women’s rights and access to health care.”

He said there was “irrefutable” evidence that restricting legal abortions can drive women and girls to unsafe and sometimes deadly procedures.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that abortion is “a fundamental right for all women” that must be protected.

The French Foreign Ministry urged U.S. federal authorities “to do everything possible” to ensure American women can have continued access to abortion, calling it “a health and survival issue for young girls and women.”

163d ago / 12:12 AM UTC

Alaska governor wants constitutional amendment on abortion rights

Alaska’s Republican governor said Friday he will propose a constitutional amendment that could potentially give voters a say in whether abortion is a constitutionally protected right in the state.

Courts have previously ruled that abortion is protected under the state constitution.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he would “be introducing a resolution for a proposed constitutional amendment to the Legislature in the next session to answer the question whether abortion shall, or not be a constitutionally protected right.”

The legislature next meets in January. The resolution has not been drafted yet, Jeff Turner, a spokesman for the governor, said.

Turner said the Legislature would have to approve it, and if it does it would go before voters in the next statewide election, which would be in 2024.

A constitutional amendment question before lawmakers and the voters could put at risk a right that is already judged by the courts to be protected, should voters approve a change.

Dunleavy, who says he is “pro life,” said that the Supreme Court’s Friday ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade “presents an opportunity for the people of Alaska, not a handful of elected officials or appointed judges, to decide the future of abortion in Alaska.”

163d ago / 11:54 PM UTC

163d ago / 11:44 PM UTC

Florida man climbs D.C. bridge in support of abortion rights

A Florida man climbed the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. on Friday morning in a show of support for abortion rights.

Guido Reichstadter, 42, of Miami, climbed atop the bridge at 9:30 a.m., shortly before the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Reichstadter has been documenting his stunt on Twitter and TikTok, where his posts and videos have amassed thousands of views.

“I have the duty to try and do everything I can to stand up for my daughter’s rights,” he told NBC News while on the bridge. “I can’t go back and look her in the eyes without doing that.”

Authorities have shut down the bridge and firefighters have inflated a large air cushion in case Reichstadter falls, NBC Washington reported.

Reichstadter told NBC News he’s been in D.C. for weeks in the lead up to the expected decision to overturn the 1973 ruling. He said he’s been sleeping in front of the Supreme Court and even chained his neck to the court’s gates on June 6 in what he described as an act of civil disobedience.

He said he plans to stay on top of the bridge as long as he is physically able and is prepared to spend the night.

"This is not comfortable, and it’s not where I’d rather be, and I’d rather be back home," Reichstadter said. "I’d rather be sipping lemonade with my daughter on the porch."

163d ago / 11:27 PM UTC

For abortion rights activists, Latin America provides a roadmap of ‘long fight’ ahead

Human rights attorney Paula Avila-Guillen never thought she’d be fighting to decriminalize abortions in the U.S. until now, as nearly two dozen states move to ban the procedure following Roe v. Wade’s official repeal Friday.

A leader of Latin America’s “green wave” movement for reproductive rights, earlier this year Avila-Guillen helped legalize abortions for women up to 24 weeks-pregnant in her native Colombia, which now joins Argentina and parts of Mexico in the short list of places in Latin America where terminating a pregnancy is no longer a crime.

But it took time and arduous work: at least 15 years of civil and legal advocacy and mobilization.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said Avila-Guillen, executive director of the New York-based Women’s Equality Center. “We need to be here for the long fight.”

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 11:26 PM UTC

With Roe v. Wade overturned, here’s where things stand with ‘trigger’ laws and pre-Roe bans

Just moments after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, abortion bans went into effect in at least a half-dozen states, with many more expected to kick in over the coming weeks.

The mix of “trigger” laws and pre-Roe abortion bans, which span 18 states, are in various states of implementation: Some were enforced immediately, others are scheduled to take effect in 30 days and still more are on the books but with no specified enforcement date.

Thirteen states have so-called trigger laws — designed to snap into effect immediately or soon after a Roe reversal — and nine states have bans that pre-date the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion. Some states have both.

Trigger laws took effect Friday in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Similar statutes in Idaho and Tennessee will be implemented in 30 days, with a slightly longer effective date for Texas.

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 11:05 PM UTC

Abortion now illegal in Arkansas, could bring 10-year sentence, state officials say

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Officials in Arkansas, one of 13 states with abortion-prohibiting trigger laws, notified reproductive health clinics Friday that abortion is now illegal in the state.

A letter addressed to Planned Parenthood warned that "purposefully performing or attempting to perform an abortion is a felony punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000."

Abortions performed in order to save the life of a woman in a medical emergency are exempted, the state's health chief, Paula Day, said in the letter to the nonprofit organization's offices in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

The law prohibiting abortion went into effect about 2 p.m. when the state's attorney general certified the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling, Day said in the letter.

Planned Parenthood acknowledged in a statement that its facilities "are no longer able to offer abortion in the state." Planned Parenthood of Little Rock canceled all scheduled abortions following news of the state's certification of the high court's decision.

Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which serves Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, said it would still support women who need to go out of state to obtain the procedure.

"Planned Parenthood Great Plains is doing everything in our power to ensure that they have the resources they need to have an abortion, including support in traveling outside of their communities for care," she said in the statement.

Arkansas passed its trigger law in 2019.

 

163d ago / 11:04 PM UTC

What the end of Roe means for access to abortion pills

The decision to overturn Roe will make it challenging for many Americans to obtain abortion pills.

More than half of all U.S. abortions in 2020 were medication abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights organization.

But 13 states have trigger laws going into effect that will ban all or nearly all abortions, including medication abortions. Such laws have already taken effect in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

In others, a state official must certify that Roe has been overturned before abortion bans go into effect. That's expected in Mississippi, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming in the coming hours or days. It will take another 30 days for trigger laws to take effect in Idaho, Tennessee and Texas, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

“Patients in the ban states will have no access to abortion by any method,” said Helene Krasnoff, vice president of public policy litigation and law at Planned Parenthood.

Bans on abortion pills, however, may get into murky legal territory, since the medications are federally approved. In a statement on Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said “states may not ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about its safety and efficacy.”

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 10:21 PM UTC
163d ago / 10:14 PM UTC

Illinois governor calls special session to grapple with expected influx of abortion-seeking patients

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called a special season of the legislature to help grapple with the impact the Supreme Court’s abortion decision will have on the state.

In an interview, Pritzker said he expects the state will serve as a mecca to women living in red states that had banned or severely restricted abortion. He said he is anticipating an influx of abortion-seeking patients, which will require the state to expand its resources — that would likely come in the form of more health care workers and physical space to offer the care. 

Surrounding states, such as Missouri, have already all but fully restricted access to abortions. Last year, some 10,000 women traveled to Illinois to access reproductive care from surrounding states. That number is expected to surge. 

“In this case, its capacity to manage the procedures that women need,” Pritzker said Friday of the resources the state must discuss providing.  

“Illinois is a safe haven for women who are seeking to exercise their reproductive rights, and will continue to do that as long as we have a strong pro-choice Democratic legislature and strong, pro-choice governor,” Pritzker said. 

The Supreme Court decision comes four days before Illinois holds its primary elections. Pritzker said he expects abortion to be a general election issue in the fall.

163d ago / 10:08 PM UTC

Dozens of elected prosecutors say they won't prosecute those seeking or assisting in abortion care

Dozens of elected prosecutors nationwide said they would refuse to prosecute those seeking, assisting or providing abortions, according to a joint statement issued Friday.

"Not all of us agree on a personal or moral level on the issue of abortion," the statement, signed by 84 district attorneys and attorneys general, said. "But we stand together in our firm belief that prosecutors have a responsibility to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions. As such, we decline to use our offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions and commit to exercise our well-settled discretion and refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide, or support abortions."

The list of signatories included elected prosecutors from 29 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

Joe Gonzalez, a district attorney in Bexar County, Texas, said in a statement Friday that "using limited resources to prosecute personal healthcare decisions would be a violation” of his oath.

The list also included prosecutors from other states including Mississippi, Missouri and Wisconsin, among others, that have banned or are poised to ban abortion services.

163d ago / 10:05 PM UTC

Senate health committee to hold hearings on maternal health care

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions announced it would hold a hearing on July 13 on the “impact of the Dobbs decision on access to abortion and other reproductive services, including the effect restrictions will have on maternal mortality and health care in the United States.”

“Make no mistake: this decision will cause health care crises that cross state lines—including into my home state of Washington," the committee's chair, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said. "So my Committee will not sit on the sidelines: I will chair a hearing to make crystal clear how this decision will harm patients, providers, and communities across the country—and what is at stake in November, with Republicans already eyeing a national abortion ban.” 

It's an early sign of how Democrats will try to keep this issue centered through the summer and into the midterms.

163d ago / 9:44 PM UTC

First lady on Roe decision: 'We will not be silent'

163d ago / 9:36 PM UTC

Patagonia pledges to cover bail for workers who ‘peacefully protest’ abortion ruling

Outdoor apparel company Patagonia announced Friday it will pay for bail for its workers who are arrested after peacefully protesting Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn national abortion rights.

Full- and part-time employees “who peacefully protest for reproductive justice” and are arrested will have their bail covered, the company said in a statement.

Among other benefits the Ventura, California-based company said its employees are eligible for include time off for voting and medical coverage for abortion plans.

Patagonia also said it would pay for travel, lodging and food for its full- and part-time employees who have to travel to receive an abortion.

Patagonia was among many companies Friday that said they would cover travel expenses for workers who seek abortions. Other companies with similar policies included Netflix, Paramount and Amazon.

“Caring for employees extends beyond basic health insurance, so we take a more holistic approach to coverage and support overall wellness to which every human has a right,” Patagonia said. “That means offering employees the dignity of access to reproductive health care. It means supporting employees’ choices around if or when they have a child. It means giving parents the resources they need to work and raise children.”

163d ago / 9:31 PM UTC

Trump is out of office. But the Supreme Court is ensuring his legacy lives on.

Former President Donald Trump no longer holds formal power, but the Supreme Court is ensuring his legacy lives on.

By a 6-3 vote Friday, the court erased nearly 50 years of precedent by ruling that the Constitution does not protect a right to abortion. Earlier in the week, by the same margin, the court struck down a New York law that heavily restricted licenses to carry concealed handguns and ruled that police officers can’t be sued for violating a suspect’s Miranda rights.

In each of the cases, all three justices appointed by Trump — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett — voted in the majority.

Read the full story here.

163d ago / 9:29 PM UTC

Planned Parenthood Arizona pauses abortion services

Planned Parenthood Arizona is halting abortion services across the state in light of the Supreme Court's decision.

“Let’s be crystal clear: The Supreme Court has abandoned patients today,” the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, Brittany Fonteno, said on a call with reporters Friday. “We are being forced by the Supreme Court and politicians in this state to deny patient care right now. As a result of our state’s legal landscape, we are pausing abortion services at Planned Parenthood clinics Arizona.” 

Fonteno said the organization was "working diligently" with its team of attorneys "to understand Arizona's tangled web of conflicting laws to make sure our patients know what their rights are and how to access abortion."

She called the high court's decision heartbreaking, while vowing that Planned Parenthood Arizona wasn't going anywhere, "not now, not ever."

“Although this is a truly heartbreaking moment for all Americans, this moment will not break us,” she said.

163d ago / 9:05 PM UTC

Businesses take precautions after overturning of Roe

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The Earle Cabell Federal Building in Dallas boarded up windows and installed fencing Friday after the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Other businesses in the U.S., including in Washington, took similar precautions to protect storefronts from expected protests after the decision.

163d ago / 9:02 PM UTC

Murkowski, criticizing court ruling, says Congress must codify legal abortion

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, criticized the Supreme Court on Friday for going “against 50 years of precedent in choosing to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“The rights under Roe that many women have relied on for decades — most notably a woman’s right to choose — are now gone or threatened in many states,” she said in a statement, adding that “it is up to Congress to respond.”

Murkowski cited legislation she has introduced to codify legal abortion in some circumstances and with exceptions. Some abortion rights activists have criticized it as too narrow and prefer Democrats' broader bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act.

“I am continuing to work with a broader group to restore women’s freedom to control their own health decisions wherever they live. Legislation to accomplish that must be a priority,” she said.

Murkowski added: “Alaskan courts have interpreted abortion rights as protected under our State Constitution, but with this decision, women in other parts of the country will face a different reality that limits their health decisions, even in extreme circumstances.”

163d ago / 8:56 PM UTC
163d ago / 8:47 PM UTC

Photos: Contrasting emotions outside Supreme Court

Frank Thorp V / NBC News

Thousands of activists on both sides of the issue gathered in front of the Supreme Court after the court announced a ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case Friday.

The court’s decision overturns the landmark, nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion.

163d ago / 8:41 PM UTC

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York set to increase services by 20%

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York announced Friday it will increase services by 20% in response to states outlawing abortions following Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court.

The organization will offer additional abortion appointments at its 23 health centers to care for more state residents seeking abortions as well as people traveling to New York from states where abortions have been made illegal, according to a statement.

Some of the new measures the organization will take include assigning an abortion patient navigator who will help people coming from out of state. The company will increase telehealth medication to give people in early stages of pregnancy the option to safely manage their abortion under the guidance of a company clinician, the organization said.

Centers in Ithaca and Corning, in the southern region of the state, will expand their services to decrease travel times for people from out of state to reach a clinic, the organization said.

Up to 26 states are prepared to outlaw abortion, affecting more than 36 million people who could lose access to abortions, the organization said.

“Banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion. We believe all people — no matter where they live — should have the right to control their own bodies, lives, and futures,” said Joy D. Calloway, interim president and CEO of New York’s Planned Parenthood. “We have been preparing for this day. At Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to all New Yorkers and people across the country in states hostile toward health care — and abortion is health care.”

163d ago / 8:28 PM UTC

 Graham says Pence called to thank him on the decision

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said former Vice President Mike Pence praised him in a phone call for his work in helping the court overturn Roe v. Wade.

In a separate tweet, Graham said Pence has been a role model for his work in the anti-abortion movement. He also called Pence a "true inspiration."

Graham further applauded the Trump administration for the appointment of three justices that led to the historic decision to reverse abortion rights nationwide.

163d ago / 8:23 PM UTC

Bill Clinton says ruling has 'put our democracy at risk'

Former President Bill Clinton slammed the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, saying it "puts partisanship ahead of precedent, ideology ahead of evidence, and the power of a small minority ahead of the clear will of the people."

The majority opinion is "wrong on the merits, wrong for women and their ability to make their own healthcare decisions, and wrong for what it means for the future of our country," Clinton said in a statement. "This jarring removal of rights that had long been guaranteed, along with decisions gutting the Voting Rights Act and abolishing any judicial remedy for admittedly unconstitutional gerrymandering by state legislatures and abuses of power by federal authorities, has put our democracy at risk in the hands of a radical, activist Court."

Clinton, a Democrat, urged voters to elect politicians who will defend rights and liberties, and the Senate to "confirm judges who will put their duty to uphold the Constitution ahead of their ideology, partisanship, and obsession to control."

163d ago / 8:15 PM UTC

Scene outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization

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Protesters, reproductive health advocates and media crowded outside of Jackson Women's Health Organization, an abortion clinic in Mississippi that is at the center of a decision to reverse national abortion rights.

Pink House Defenders, a group that stands outside the clinic and escorts women inside for abortion services, said protesters have calmed down since the decision was announced Friday.

"We’re used to protesters every day. But I got to admit, today they are being a little extra," said a clinic escort, who declined to give her name.

She added that the news media was also lining the streets. She said she is fed up with all of it.

"On top of all of that, we still have to escort our patients inside," she said.

Outside of the clinic, anti-abortion protesters were handing out pamphlets that say, "This is not your only choice."

163d ago / 8:05 PM UTC

Graphic: How the U.S. compares with the rest of the world on attitudes toward abortion

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Not all countries are as divided as the U.S. is on abortion access. According to a 2021 Ipsos survey of abortion attitudes in 27 countries, an average of 71% of people worldwide support abortion in all instances or in certain circumstances.

The U.S. ranked in the lower third among countries included in the poll, with 66% of the country supporting abortion access in all or most cases. Sweden ranked the highest with 88%.

163d ago / 7:55 PM UTC
163d ago / 7:54 PM UTC

What the Supreme Court justices said about Roe, abortion in their confirmations

After Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, pro-abortion rights lawmakers argued that some of the justices who voted in the majority opinion misled senators during their confirmation process.

“This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said.

The future of the landmark Roe decision has long been a topic of Supreme Court confirmations.

All six Supreme Court judges who voted to uphold the Mississippi law at the center of Friday’s decision were asked about Roe v. Wade during their confirmation hearings. Justices appointed by then-President Donald Trump, in particular, were interrogated at length, as he had vowed as a candidate to appoint judges who would overturn Roe.

Here's what they said at the time.

163d ago / 7:46 PM UTC

International Planned Parenthood chief: Roe decision 'biggest blow to women's health and rights'

The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is “the biggest blow to women’s health and rights” in recent American history, the head of International Planned Parenthood said Friday.

The director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, called the decision “an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare.”

He added:

“By continuing its unbridled attack on women’s bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom — the very values the United States prides itself on.

“We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come."

163d ago / 7:46 PM UTC
163d ago / 7:45 PM UTC

VP Harris blasts Roe ruling, says progress isn't 'inevitable'

Vice President Kamala Harris blasted the Supreme Court's ruling at an event in Illinois and echoed President Joe Biden's remarks that voters have the power to elect leaders who protect their rights.

Harris, who served as California's attorney general before being elected to the Senate, said that the opinion argues that abortion is "not deeply rooted in our history."

She said Friday's decision calls into question "other rights that we thought were settled, such as the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage, the right to interracial marriage."

"The great aspiration of our nation has been to expand freedom, but the expansion of freedom clearly is not inevitable," she said. "It is not something that just happens."

Harris said she invites people to stand together in defense of liberty, freedom and the right to self-determination.

"You have the power to elect leaders who will defend or protect your rights," she said, urging people to vote.

163d ago / 7:44 PM UTC

Emotions raw outside Supreme Court after Roe reversal

Tears flowed and voices bellowed outside the Supreme Court on Friday, as activists on both sides of the abortion issue bore emotion-filled witness to the end of the Roe era.

“It’s really a visceral issue,” said Mai El-Sadany, a human rights lawyer who opposes Friday’s decision. “The people who showed up here are really angry and they didn’t want to be alone.” 

That was true for many of the abortion rights supporters, who wore stickers, held signs, chanted slogans and, at times, wept. They vowed that they would continue to fight for abortion rights, and some wore T-shirts advertising their willingness to “aid and abet” women seeking abortions in states where they will soon be banned or heavily restricted.

Read more here.

163d ago / 7:26 PM UTC

Northwell Health, N.Y.'s largest health care provider, criticizes Roe decision

Friday’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a setback for women that will hinder access to safe abortions, according to a statement from Northwell Health.

“Northwell Health is disappointed by the US Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, which made access to safe and legal abortion a constitutional right for five decades,” the statement said. “This decision is a setback for women’s reproductive health. Our concern as the region’s largest health care provider is that this ruling will succeed in ending access to safe abortions and disproportionately cause harm to those who already have limited access to health care.”

Northwell Health is New York state's largest health care provider.

“In New York State, we already have laws that establish a woman’s right to an abortion. Governor Hochul recently signed a series of bills that preserve this right and, importantly, offer protections for health care providers in the state who perform this procedure legally. But we will vigorously monitor any developments related to this very important issue in the coming months and we will continue to advocate in the name of raising women’s health.”

 

 

163d ago / 7:00 PM UTC

Lawyer who argued against Dobbs said consequences will be 'swift and severe'

Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the Supreme Court's decision to end 50 years of federal abortion rights "takes away an individual personal liberty" and warned that it will affect other important issues.

"Its impact is going to reverberate beyond abortion no matter what the majority tried to say about that," she said at a news conference Friday afternoon.

"Generations of people have relied on this right and they’ll now be thrown into a world without it. I can’t emphasize enough what a cataclysmic change this will be, how much chaos we will see in the coming days and month," added Julie Rikelman, the center's litigation director, who in December argued against the Dobbs case. "The impact of this ruling truly will be swift and severe."

Northup — who successfully argued the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health case which banned Texas from replacing restrictions on abortion services — said that Friday's ruling puts at risk the right to use contraception and the right to gay marriage.

"The Supreme Court, having done something it’s never done before, which is take away an individual personal liberty, it has never done that in its history, and it can’t be underestimated about what that means," she said, adding: "And the decision is also the biggest setback to women’s rights, I would say in United States history."

163d ago / 6:54 PM UTC

Hawley predicts overturn of Roe will bolster Republicans' Electoral College advantage

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., predicted on a conference call with reporters on Friday that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling would ultimately lead to an exodus of Democratic voters from red and purple states, bolstering a Republican advantage in the Electoral College.

“I really do think that this is going to be a watershed moment in American politics,” he said, adding “I think we will see a major sorting out across the country that is already underway, as we speak, as states move to change their laws or adopt new laws in response to this decision.”

He predicted the ruling would inform voters’ decisions on what jobs to take, where to locate their families and would “probably redraw some demographic lines around the country and will lead to impacts in voting patterns, I think all around the country.”

“And I would predict that the effect is going to be that more and more red states, they’re going to become more red, purple states are going to become red and the blue states are going to get a lot bluer,” he added. “And I would look for Republicans, as a result of this, to extend their strength in the Electoral College. And that’s very good news for those of us who want to see Republican presidents elected, they want to see a Supreme Court that remains conservative.”

As for whether federal legislators should consider national restrictions on abortion rights in light of the Dobbs ruling, Hawley said “it would be appropriate for us to consider legislation where there is a national consensus,” adding he would like to see voters weigh in at the individual state level first.

163d ago / 6:46 PM UTC
163d ago / 6:46 PM UTC

U.S. companies tell workers their benefits include travel costs for abortions

Some of the country’s biggest companies including Paramount, Disney, Amazon and Netflix are telling employees that their benefits include travel costs for abortions.

In a memo provided to NBC News, Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount Global, and Chief People Officer Nancy Phillips said the corporation supports health care choices made by its employees.

“This includes the reproductive health and family-building benefits that helps make our company a welcoming place to work.” One of the benefits listed in the memo was travel costs for “elective abortion care.”

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed to NBC News the company offers travel reimbursement coverage for full-time U.S. employees and their dependents who need to travel to get an abortion. The lifetime allowance for each employee is $10,000, according to the spokesperson.

Disney confirmed to Reuters it also covers travel cost for employees who need reproductive care, including to obtain an abortion. Disney employs about 80,000 people at Walt Disney World resort in Florida, where Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a 15-week abortion ban. The law is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Other corporations such as Amazon.com, Citigroup and Levi Strauss & Co., have publicly pledged to pay for employees' travel to obtain abortions, Reuters reported.

 

163d ago / 6:40 PM UTC

Former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe says he hopes Roe ruling will motivate base

Former Democratic National Committee Chair and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe reacted to Friday's decision by saying he hoped the verdict would boost turnout in the upcoming elections.

“If this doesn’t energize women to come out and vote, I don’t know what will," he said. "For 50 years people talked about Roe being overturned. Well, guess what? It has now happened. "

"There’s a shock value to it," he added." If this doesn’t mobilize folks to come out and talk bout how important elections are, and how people can’t sit at home, and how elections really do matter, this has proven the case ... This and the Jan. 6 stuff is having an impact. So, obviously, with Roe and all this debate on guns, we do have some things that motivate our base.”