Posted: Friday, June 24, 2022. 11:27 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Following a draft legal opinion that was leaked earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1974 landmark case that enshrined abortions as a constitutional right for women.
CNN reports that the official ruling was handed down today, in a decision that was split 5-3-1. The ruling is expected to transform the reproductive health landscape in America as, barring an act of Congress, legislation regarding abortion will now be decided at the state level. CNN also noted that nearly half of the states have or will pass laws that ban abortion while others have enacted strict measures regulating the procedure.
In the ruling, Justice Samuel Alito reasoned that Roe was “egregiously wrong from the start,” siding with the majority of the Justices reviewing the case.
“Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division,” Alito said.
The dissenting Justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, also published their own joint opinion, criticizing the ruling and saying that American women have lost fundamental constitutional protection.
Notable political figures within the US have already begun sharing their opinions on the matter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former US President Barack Obama condemning the ruling. Pelosi categorized the decision as “such an insult, a slap in the face to women,” while Obama said that the decision would serve to undo nearly 50 years of judicial precedent.
One notable figure that agreed with the ruling was Former Vice President Mike Pence, who praised the ruling, saying the high court has given the “American people a new beginning for life.” Pence also commended the justices in the majority for “having the courage of their convictions.”
Guatemala had recently taken a similar position on abortion before unceremoniously reversing the decision.
Meanwhile, the Laws of Belize do make special provisions for abortions by two licensed medical practitioners under prescribed circumstances. Тhе сrіtеrіа states that the medical practitioners must have arrived at the соnсluѕіоn, іn gооd fаіth, thаt thе рrеgnаnсу wаѕ еіthеr а thrеаt tо thе lіfе оf thе mоthеr оr роѕеd ѕеrіоuѕ rіѕkѕ tо thе сhіld іf thе рrеgnаnсу wаѕ аllоwеd tо gо tо іtѕ full term.
Pregnancies terminated outside of this criteria are addressed in Sections 111 and 112 of the Criminal Code, prescribing a 14-year prison sentence upon conviction.
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