(NewsNation) — In early May, a leaked Supreme Court draft decision signaling the majority conservative court would overturn the decades-old abortion ruling Roe v. Wade was released, sparking nationwide protests and fierce political debate.
Friday’s opinion by the court was by and large very similar to what was in the draft, but with one glaring difference: This time, Justice Clarence Thomas hinted in a concurring opinion the court could next turn its attention to court cases that legalized same-sex marriage and contraception.
“I think if Justice Thomas had his way, that’s certainly what the court would do next, it would look at all the cases that have been decided under the 14th Amendment that touch on intimacy, privacy, liberty, family relationships, and it would review those decision with the same kind of analysis that Justice (Samuel) Alito applied,” said Rachel Rebouché, the interim dean of the Temple University’s Beasley School of Law.
Rebouché said part of Alito’s reasoning for overturning Roe v. Wade was it created precedent that had “unworkable standards,” which created confusion and litigation. However, she also argued that overturning Roe v. Wade, and thus leaving each state to decide its own abortion laws, may have created even more confusion and litigation.
“That’s nothing in comparison to what’s to come. As each state legislates its own abortion code, half the country will pass laws that ban almost all abortion, but they will differ significantly from each other potentially,” Rebouché said. “
On Friday, the draft decision became a real decision and the nearly two months of protests and cries from pro-women’s rights activists went for naught as the court went ahead and struck down Roe v. Wade, limiting access to abortions in states nationwide.
The six Supreme Court justices who voted to kill Roe v. Wade, Thomas, Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts and Amy Coney Barrett, stuck pretty closely to their draft opinion, which was written by Alito, in their final verdict.
Chief Justice Roberts voted with the majority, but in a concurring opinion.
In the majority opinion the justices wrote: “The constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
In their dissenting opinion, Justices Sonya Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan lashed out at the conservative judges’ opinion, saying it also threatened things such as same-sex marriage, contraception and particularly women’s safety.