Protesters sang and chanted outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday night, after he revealed he now has laws protecting gay marriage, gay sexual activity and contraception in his sights, after axing Roe v. Wade.
Across the country, demonstrators were taking to the streets to express their anger at the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 50-year law that guaranteed access to abortion in every state.
In New York City, a crowd thousands strong massed in Union Square and Washington Square Park, and then marched up Park Avenue. In Washington DC, Union Square was the site of demonstrations, while protesters from Boston to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles marched in fury.
Outside Thomas’s Virginia home, a crowd of several dozen people waved placards, drummed and waved flags.
‘My body, my choice!’ they yelled, holding aloft posters labelling Thomas a ‘treasonous turd’ and proclaiming: ‘Reproductive rights = human rights.’
One woman wore the rainbow-colored tabard of abortion clinic workers, who protect the women seeking treatment and being threatened by pro-life activists outside.
There was no visible police presence, but it was likely there: on June 16, Joe Biden signed into law the Supreme Court Police Parity Act, providing security for the immediate families of the nine justices and other officers of the court.
An armed man was arrested on June 8 outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and charged with attempted murder.
Following Friday’s landmark decision, Thomas became a particular lightning rod for activists, after he called on his fellow jurists to overturn previous rulings that followed similar legal precedent.
The prospective law changes, released in a concurring opinion of the decision penned by Thomas, would see limits put on gay marriage, same-sex sexual activity, and citizens’ access to birth control.
Protesters in Washington, D.C., shared arrangements to carpool together on Friday evening to Thomas’s house.
‘Enraged? Devastated? Pissed the f*** off? So are we,’ tweeted Our Rights DC.
Pro-choice extremist group Jane’s Revenge promised a ‘night of rage’.
NEW YORK CITY: Washington Square Park, in lower Manhattan, was packed with protesters on Friday evening
NEW YORK CITY: Demonstrators came from across the city to the square in Manhattan to express their outrage
NEW YORK CITY: The pro-choice protesters marched from Union Square in Manhattan to Washington Square, and then up Park Avenue
NEW YORK CITY: A crowd gathered on Friday evening in Washington Square Park
NEW YORK CITY: Women bearing placards converged on Washington Square Park in Manhattan
NEW YORK CITY: Protesters on Friday night are pictured in Washington Square Park
FIRMS PAYING WORKERS’ ABORTION EXPENSES
- Disney said it will cover the cost of travel for ‘family planning’ for any worker who cannot access care where they live, including ‘pregnancy-related decisions’
- Buzzfeed will provide a stipend to employees to travel out of state to access legal abortion services
- Dick’s Sporting Goods is reimbursing employees $4,000 in travel expenses
- Amazon will provide $4,000 for travel expenses outside of 100 miles of an employee’s home
- Starbucks will reimburse all abortion travel expenses not available within 100 miles
- Yelp will reimburse travel costs for employees who can’t access services in their home state
- Microsoft will reimburse employees for travel expenses related to an abortion
- Apple will cover all travel expenses
- Netflix will pay up to $10,000 for travel reimbursement for abortions
- Tesla pays for travel and lodging for employees who get an abortion outside their home state
- Levi Strauss & Co. said it would reimburse workers who travel out of state to get an abortion
- JPMorgan Chase said it would expand its health plan to cover travel expenses for employees getting an abortion
- Starbucks will reimburse travel expenses for an abortion or gender-affirming procedure that is not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home
- Citigroup will provide abortion travel benefits
- Mastercard will pay for travel and lodging for employees who need to travel out of state for abortion services
- Lyft will cover travel costs for employees enrolled in the company health care plan who need to travel more than 100 miles for an abortion
- Zillow will reimburse employees up to $7,500 to travel significant distances for reproductive services, gender-affirming care and other procedures
Eric Adams, the mayor of New York, spoke from the steps of City Hall on Friday and proclaimed that his city was ready to welcome those women who needed an abortion, but were unable to get one in their home state.
He also revealed that, when he was 15, his then-girlfriend needed and got an abortion.
He said he was just back from jail – he was arrested for trespassing because he entered a house to take possessions, feeling he hadn’t been compensated for odd jobs – when his girlfriend told him.
‘Linda came to me and said, ‘Eric, I’m pregnant and look at your life,’ Adams said.
‘She said Eric, you’re arrested, you’re not going to school, what future is this baby going to have.’
‘She made the decision that was smart for both of us, she made the right call because she was empowered, she was in control.’
Seven of Adams’s top deputies — all women — took to the microphone to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision.
Three of them said they had had an abortion.
‘Being a mother is the best job I’ve ever had, and I’ve loved it so much,’ said Anne Williams-Isom, the deputy mayor, who oversees public health and social services.
‘But when I was 18 years old, I was not ready to be a mom.
‘If I did not have access to a safe affordable abortion, I would not be here with you all today.
‘I wouldn’t have the life that I wanted to have. I wouldn’t be the mother that I wanted to be.’
New York officials have long been preparing to welcome women seeking abortions.
Kathy Hochul, governor of New York, on Friday declared her state a ‘safe harbor’ for those seeking abortions.
Hochul, a Democrat and the state’s first female governor, announced an advertising campaign and a new website that would inform women in New York and around the country about their rights to an abortion in the state and potential resources available to them.
‘This is repulsive at every level,’ Hochul said on Friday, speaking at a groundbreaking for the Stonewall National Monument’s visitor center in Manhattan.
On Friday, multiple blue chip firms including Disney, JP Morgan and Meta announced they will pay the expenses of staff forced to travel out-of-state for an abortion.
Other firms including Netflix, Vogue publisher Conde Naste and Yelp have also signaled they’ll cover expenses in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Disney said on Friday that it would cover the cost of employees who need to travel to another location to access care, including abortions, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.
The company employs 195,000 worldwide, including roughly 80,000 in Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.
Disney told employees on Friday that it recognizes the impact of the abortion ruling, but remains committed to providing comprehensive access to quality healthcare, including for abortions, according to a Disney spokesperson.
‘We recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain committed to providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,’ Disney said in a statement.
Yelp co-founder and Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman on Friday said the ruling ‘puts women’s health in jeopardy, denies them their human rights, and threatens to dismantle the progress we’ve made toward gender equality in the workplace since Roe.’
Meta will reimburse travel expenses for employees seeking out-of-state reproductive care, but the company was also ‘assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,’ according to a spokesperson.
Netflix added travel reimbursement for abortions and gender-affirming care to its health care plan.
The policy, which also covers cancer treatment and transplants, pays up to $10,000 per service for each employee.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called on fellow jurists to overturn previous landmark rulings after the court nixed Roe v. Wade on Friday
Protesters plan to target the street where Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni live
WASHINGTON DC: Capitol Police dressed in riot gear stand outside the Capitol on Friday evening as protests erupted
WASHINGTON DC: Capitol Police are seen on duty on Friday evening in Washington DC, as protests spread
BOSTON: Protesters march through Boston, Massachusetts on Friday evening to express their anger at the decision
NEW YORK CITY: Protesters in New York City gather at Union Square in Manhattan to show their anger at the decision
BOSTON: A protester in Boston on Friday holds out a coat hanger – a symbol of the brutal measures that women used to take to abort their unwanted babies
Tensions over abortion have spiraled ever since a draft opinion was leaked last month, signaling that the court was about to overturn protections.
The Department of Homeland Security, in a memo on Friday obtained by ABC News, said it expects violence could last ‘for weeks’ from domestic violent extremists (DVEs).
‘We expect violence could occur for weeks following the release, particularly as DVEs may be mobilized to respond to changes in state laws and ballot measures on abortion stemming from the decision,’ the bulletin said.
‘We base this assessment on an observed increase in violent incidents across the United States following the unauthorized disclosure in May of a draft majority opinion on the case.’
As he condemned the court’s decision on Friday, President Joe Biden urged protesters to remain peaceful.
‘I call on everyone no matter how deeply they care about this decision to keep all protests peaceful, peaceful, peaceful, peaceful,’ he said.
‘No intimidation. Violence is never acceptable.
‘Threats and intimidation are not speech. We must stand against violence in any form, regardless of your rationale.’
ATLANTA: Protesters in Georgia gathered in front of the state capitol in Atlanta
ATLANTA: A woman and a man in Georgia wear stickers proclaiming: ‘Forced motherhood is female enslavement’
ATLANTA: Protesters gather downtown to express their anger at Friday’s decision
ATLANTA: Activists hold up signs saying ‘Abortions save lives’ and ‘Abortion = healthcare’
ATLANTA: Demonstrators are seen outside the Georgia State Capitol
LOS ANGELES: Protesters gather outside the First Street United States Courthouse in Los Angeles on Friday afternoon
WASHINGTON DC: Abortion rights activists show their anger outside the Supreme Court in Washington DC on Friday
WASHINGTON DC: Demonstrators in Washington DC took to the streets on Friday after the decision was announced
LOS ANGELES: Cari Schaffer (L) and Hailey Valdez hold signs as protesters gather outside the First Street United States Courthouse in Los Angeles on Friday
WASHINGTON DC: A woman cries outside the Supreme Court on Friday morning after the court rules that the ‘Constitution does not confer a right to abortion’
WASHINGTON DC: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared outside the Supreme Court among the crowds in the aftermath of the Supreme Court releasing the Dobbs decision that ends abortion protections
WASHINGTON DC: Pro-life activists cheer outside the Supreme Court Friday morning after learning that the high court had overturned Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON DC: Democratic members of Congress march out of the Capitol Building toward the Supreme Court to join pro-choice protesters outside the Supreme Court Friday morning
BOSTON: Senator Elizabeth Warren joins the crowd in front of the Massachusetts State House after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade
Protesters on Friday afternoon gathered in Union Square in Washington DC, with members of Congress addressing the crowd of several hundred.
‘In almost half of this country, states are ready to ban abortion,’ said Ilhan Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota.
‘Outright ban abortion. That means if you are sick, if you are raped, there is incest, you are forced to have that baby or die.’
The Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in the capital was briefly closed after a man climbed the 1,445ft structure to protest the decision.
In his separate opinion also released on Friday, Thomas – the court’s longest-serving justice – welcomed the guidance, but noted how it falls short of addressing citizens rights’ apart from abortion.
The 74-year-old justice, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, went on to declare the court should reconsider other cases that fall under previous due process precedents.
Thomas’ argument was entrenched in the belief that since the Constitution’s Due Process Clause was found not to secure a right to an abortion in Friday’s ruling, the court should apply that same logic to other landmark cases.
He cited three in particular – including 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut, which allowed for married couples to buy and use contraception, and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which allowed same-sex couples to legally marry.
Thomas’ argument was entrenched in the belief that since the Constitution’s Due Process Clause was found not to secure a right to an abortion in Friday’s ruling, the court should apply that same logic to other landmark cases
Thomas cited three in particular – including 1965’s Griswold v. Connecticut, which allowed for married couples to buy and use contraception, and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges, which allowed same-sex couples (pictured) to legally marry
President Joe Biden addressed the nation from the White House’s Cross Hall on Friday calling it ‘a very solemn moment’ and a ‘sad day for the court and the country.’ He also warned: ‘If the rationale of the decision as released were to be sustained, a whole range of rights are in question. A whole range of rights’
Perhaps most shockingly, though, the jurist suggested the court also reexamine Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 judgement that ruled that nixed some states’ century-old criminal sanctions on citizens who committed sodomy.
All have to do with Americans’ fundamental privacy, due process, and equal protection rights – tenets also central to Fridays decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
‘For that reason,’ Thomas, 74, wrote, ‘in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.’
The justice, a known conservative, went on to declare that ‘we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.
Notably absent from the prior cases in Thomas’ concurring opinion was the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, which barred the state from prohibiting interracial marriage.
Thomas is in an interracial marriage, as the justice is black and his wife Ginni Thomas – a conservative activist who absorbed Trump’s ‘big lie’ – is white.
The assertion from Thomas comes as members of the left had warned that such a ruling could lead to the reversal of other landmark cases, following Politico’s leak of an initial draft of the court’s decision in May.
Justice Clarence Thomas is pictured with his wife, Ginni – a controversial conservative activist, who was in touch with a key Trump adviser during the January 6 insurrection
Retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer warned in the dissenting opinion that the current court could also go after rulings that came before and after Roe that are based on the same legal reasoning including Griswold v. Connecticut and the landmark Obergefell, which legalized same-sex marriage
Biden – who called Friday’s 5-4 vote to nix the 1973 decision ‘a tragic error’ – said of the draft opinion in May: ‘If the rationale of the decision as released were to be sustained, a whole range of rights are in question. A whole range of rights.’
‘The idea [that] we’re letting the states make those decisions, localities make those decisions, would be a fundamental shift in what we’ve done,’ the president added.
On Friday, Biden also pointed out that three justices appointed by previous Trump – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – were central to the overturning of Roe.
‘It was three justices named by one president – Donald Trump – who were at the core of today’s decision to upend the scales of justice and eliminate a fundamental right for women in this country,’ Biden said.
‘This fall, Roe is on the ballot.’
Kamala Harris, the vice president, declared that voters will have ‘the final word’.
‘This is not over,’ Harris said on Friday, speaking at a conference in Plainfield, Illinois.
‘You have the power to elect leaders who will defend and protect your rights.’
Harris continued: ‘Millions of women in America will go to bed tonight without access to the health care and reproductive care that they had this morning.
‘Without access to the same health care or reproductive health care that their mothers and grandmothers had for 50 years.’
Retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who penned the dissent signed on by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, also predicted that the demise of Roe could have broader implications.
‘And no one should be confident that this majority is done with its work,’ Breyer wrote, after laying out how the decision suggests that a ‘woman has not rights to speak of.’
‘The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone. To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships, and procreation,’ Breyer noted.
Breyer, like Thomas, points to Griswold v. Connecticut – which permitted married couples to use contraception without government interference – and then to Obergefell, the landmark same-sex marriage decision.
‘They are all part of the same constitutional fabric, protecting autonomous decisionmaking over the most personal of life decisions,’ Breyer said.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, said the decision only pertained to abortion arguing that it was not ‘deeply rooted in history.’
Breyer argued that’s not possible.
‘So one of two things must be true. Either the majority does not really believe in its own reasoning. Or if it does, all rights that have no history stretching back to the mid 19th century are insecure,’ Breyer wrote.
‘Either the mass of the majority’s opinion is hypocrisy, or additional constitutional rights are under threat.
‘It is one or the other.’
There are 18 states that have near-total bans on their books, while four more have time-limit band and four others are likely to pass new bans if Roe is overturned
Abortion was automatically outlawed in 18 US states as soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned, thanks to specially-devised ‘trigger laws’ and historic bans that were automatically reenacted after Friday’s ruling.
Thirteen states prepared trigger laws which would automatically outlaw terminations in the event of a ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, which was widely-anticipated.
They are: Arkansas; Idaho; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; Missouri; North Dakota; Oklahoma; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah and Wyoming.
Abortion bans in those states will now become law within 30 days.
Five other states have also now banned terminations, after historic laws superseded by the 1973 Roe ruling automatically came back into place.
Among those five are two Democrat-governed states – Michigan and Wisconsin.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers have both sought to overturn those bans in the court. But they remain in place for now, and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced Friday afternoon that it was suspending terminations while awaiting clarification on the law.
Other states with newly-re-enacted historic bans are Alabama, Arizona and West Virginia.
Eight other states are also set to enact new anti-abortion laws. Georgia, Iowa and South Carolina all attempted to ban abortion after the six-week mark.
Those laws were branded unconstitutional, but will likely be revisited now Roe has ended. And Florida, Indiana, Montana as well as Nebraska are all working on plans to ban or restrict terminations.
‘This is a horrifying decision’: ‘Heartbroken’ Michelle Obama leads furious criticism of SCOTUS overturning of Roe v. Wade – as Amy Schumer blasts justices for following ‘intentions of slave-owning rapists who’ve been dead for hundreds for years’
Michelle Obama and Amy Schumer are leading the furious public criticism of the Supreme Court‘s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade today – with the former First Lady slamming the move as ‘horrifying’ while warning that it will have ‘devastating consequences’ for women across the US.
Dozens of celebrities have spoken out to share their horror over the landmark decision, including Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, Busy Philipps, Bette Midler, Hailey Bieber, and Sophie Turner – with many of them choosing to share Obama’s statement as well as their own thoughts on the issue.
58-year-old Obama was one of the first high-profile people to react to the decision, taking to Instagram to post a lengthy statement slamming the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the minutes after it was announced, describing herself as ‘heartbroken’ while blasting the Supreme Court for ridding women of their ‘fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies’.
‘I am heartbroken that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land – a time when women risked losing their lives getting illegal abortions,’ she wrote.
‘A time when the government denied women control over their reproductive functions, forced them to move forward with pregnancies they didn’t want, and then abandoned them once their babies were born.
‘That is what our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers lived through, and now we are here again.’
Michelle Obama and Amy Schumer led the furious public criticism of SCOTUS’ decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday
Obama branded the decision ‘horrifying’ and warning that it will have ‘devastating consequences for women across the US’
She urged pro-choice supporters to ‘channel their frustration and anger into action by getting involved’, before highlighting organizations like Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women
Obama was one of dozens of high-profile figures to speak out against the decision on Friday – with Schumer, 41, accusing the Supreme Court of determining women’s rights by following the ‘intentions of a bunch of slave-owning rapists who’ve been dead for hundreds of years’.
She then appeared to take aim at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who in 2018 and 2019 was accused of sexual assault by several women, writing on her Instagram Stories: ‘And women’s bodily autonomy should not be determined by men who’ve been accused of sexual assault.’
Both Obama and Schumer then urged pro-choice supporters to take action by fighting back against the decision, with former president Barack Obama’s wife urging her followers to ‘channel their frustration and anger into action’ by supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women.
‘This moment is difficult, but our story does not end here,’ the mother-of-two said. ‘It may not feel like we are able to do much right now, but we can. And we must.
‘If you’re like me and you want to get started right now, I encourage you to channel your frustration and anger into action by getting involved. Organizations like Planned Parenthood and The United State of Women, among many others, have resources you can look to if you want to help others or if you need help yourself.
‘Our hearts may be broken today, but tomorrow, we’ve got to get up and find the courage to keep working towards creating the more just America we all deserve. We have so much left to push for, to rally for, to speak for – and I know we can do this together.’
Schumer said that the decision equated to SCOTUS determining women’s rights by ‘interpreting the intentions of a bunch of slave-owning rapists who’ve been dead for hundreds of years’
Kim Kardashian joined the many people pointing out the contrasts between gun control laws and abortion rights, posting on her Instagram Stories that ‘guns have more rights than women’
Kim’s younger sister Kendall Jenner branded the decision ‘disturbing, disappointing, and devastating’
Bette Midler unleashed a furious tirade against Donald Trump, accusing the former President – who nominated three Supreme Court Justices – of ‘undoubtedly paying for a hundred [abortions] himself’
She also accused Justice Samuel Alito of ‘leaking’ the draft of the decision to overturn Roe
Schumer meanwhile, who is a mother-of-one, urged her followers to support Bans Off Our Bodies, a ‘national campaign led by abortion rights supporters’ which ‘collectively mobilizes against abortion bans’.
She also shared information about a planned ‘All out for abortion rights’ rally, which is taking place in New York City’s Washington Square Park on Friday evening.
The comedian went on to highlight the stark contrast between the lack of gun control laws in the US and the rules governing abortion rights, writing on Instagram that ‘late term abortions via school shootings are still available’, while re-posting a tweet about SCOTUS eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.
British actress Jameela Jamil – who is now based in the US – also drew comparisons between abortion rights and gun control laws, while branding the Supreme Court Justices who voted in favor of overruling Roe v. Wade ‘f***ing evil bastards’ and accusing pro-life supporters of using dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale as a ‘manifesto’.
‘Oh my god. Roe v. Wade is gone. My heart is completely broken. What happened to this country?’ she wrote in an Instagram image, adding in the caption: ‘The past six years has been terrifying and somehow keeps getting worse. These f***ing evil bastards know that this never ends abortion, it only ends safe abortion. We need to VOTE. No wonder they are banning Handmaid’s Tale in Texas. They are using it as a manifesto…
‘PRO LIFE, but only saying abortion has to be decided state by state, but gun laws are protected nationwide… f***ing hundreds of mass shootings this year and it’s only June.’
In a second post, she highlighted the economic ramifications of the decision, questioning who will ‘pay for all these unwanted babies’, and asking: ‘Who is going to better fund the adoption system?’
‘Who is giving out free healthcare to people forced to follow through on pregnancies?’ she continued. ‘Who is going to pay for the food, shelter and educations of these forced children? Or the therapy of the rape victims and children forced to carry pregnancies to term?
British actress Jameela Jamil – who now lives in the US – raised questions about the economic ramifications of the decision, asking: ‘Who is gonna pay for all these unwanted babies?’
Hailey Bieber, 25, said she was ‘speechless’ over the decision, describing it as ‘really really scary’
Busy Philipps urged her followers to attend a rally in New York on Friday, while furiously blasting the Supreme Court, adding: ‘I have no words. This is total devastation’
Many celebrities – including Hunger Games star Elizabeth Banks – noted the ‘devastation’ that this will cause for so many women and families across the US, with many also contrasting abortion rights with gun control laws
‘Can’t even f***ing feed, treat or shelter the people already here. AmeriCAN’T. These f***ing dinosaurs will be dead before they see the devastating impact on our society.’
Taylor Swift, 32, said the move has left her ‘terrified’ about the state of the country, writing on her Twitter account: ‘I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.’
Model Hailey Bieber, 25, described the landmark decision as ‘really really scary’ in her own post about it, writing: ‘Wow… I’m speechless. What an extreme loss and disappointment. This is really really scary.’
Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner shared her horror over the decision in an Instagram Stories video, in which she insisted that overturning Roe v. Wade ‘is not about saving lives, it’s about controlling a woman’s body’
Actress and TV host Busy Philipps joined Schumer in encouraging her followers to attend the Washington Square rally, sharing a flyer for the event on her Instagram, while writing: ‘I have no words. This is total devastation. See you tonight New York and I hope you show the f**k up wherever you live.’
She added on Twitter: ‘It doesn’t end here. F**k this sham. F**k these people. If you’re a single issue voter and your issue is your taxes, f**k you too. This Supreme Court is on you.’
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner – who is currently pregnant with her second child with husband Joe Jonas – shared her thoughts on Roe being overturned in an Instagram Stories video, in which she stated that the decision will likely ‘set us back by 50 years’.
‘Overturning Roe v. Wade is setting us back 50 years,’ she said. ‘This isn’t going to save any lives. It’s going to kill and endanger millions of women who are going to end up getting dangerous backstreet abortions and end up dying from it.
‘If this was actually about saving lives, if anyone cared about saving lives, then after any of the mass shootings that have happened here in the United States, we would have gun control. It’s not about saving lives, it’s about controlling a woman’s body and controlling a woman’s right to choose and it’s absolutely f***ing disgusting.’
Actress and former politician Cynthia Nixon, 56 – who wed her wife Christine Marinoni in 2012 – called attention to the ‘devastating’ timing of the decision being announced during Pride Month – particularly because the ruling issued by the Supreme Court also casts doubt over the future of other legislation, which protects the the rights of those within the LGBTQ community, including the right to same-sex marriages.
She posted the concurring judgement of Justice Clarence Thomas, in which he wrote: ‘For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell’.
‘This ruling today at the height of Pride Month is particularly devastating,’ Nixon wrote on Twitter. ‘The foundation upon which Roe rested is the same that has protected so many of our rights as LGBTQ+ people. Clarence Thomas says as much. We’re all in this together.’
Riverdale stars Camila Mendes (left) and Lili Reinhart (right) both shared horrified reactions to Roe v. Wade being overturned
Thomas was also the subject of a tweet posted by Kathy Griffin, who looked back on the sexual harassment allegations made against him by Anita Hill back in 1991.
‘Thinking about Anita Hill today. Thinking about what she went through. Believe women. Please,’ Griffin, 61, tweeted.
Hill quietly accused Thomas of sexual harassment in a private interview with the FBI – however the resulting report was publicly leaked in 1991 when Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-President George H. W. Bush, resulting in his confirmation hearings being reopened – with Hill called to publicly testify about her allegations.
She told Congress that Thomas had repeatedly harassed her while she was working as his advisor on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that he asked her out on a number of occasions – and then began making lude comments when she refused his advances.
Despite her testimony – which was backed up by a polygraph test – Thomas was ultimately confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice.
The Supreme Court overruled the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision Friday morning by upholding Mississippi’s restrictive 15-week abortion ban.
‘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,’ the decision said.
Tensions over the future of abortion rights in the country have been running high since a draft opinion of Dobbs was leaked – and showed that the high court’s conservative majority was poised to push whether abortion was legal back to the states.
The 6-3 conservative majority made good on what the draft said, with liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer dissenting. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred. Conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas also filed concurring opinion.
‘Guided by the history and tradition that map the essential components of the Nation’s concept of ordered liberty, the Court finds the Fourteenth Amendment clearly does not protect the right to an abortion,’ the decision, penned by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, said.
Roe v. Wade: The landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America
Norma McCorvey, seen in 1983 – ten years after the Supreme Court decision
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade. The landmark ruling legalized abortion nationwide but divided public opinion and has been under attack ever since.
The case was filed in 1971 by Norma McCorvey, a 22-year-old living in Texas who was unmarried and seeking a termination of her unwanted pregnancy.
Because of state legislation preventing abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk, she was unable to undergo the procedure in a safe and legal environment.
So McCorvey sued Henry Wade, the Dallas county district attorney, in 1970. The case went on to the Supreme Court, under the filing Roe vs Wade, to protect McCorvey’s privacy.
Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court handed down the watershed 7-2 decision that a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions, including the choice to have an abortion, is protected under the 14th Amendment.
In particular, that the Due Process Clause of the the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental ‘right to privacy’ that protects a woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
The landmark ruling saw abortions decriminalized in 46 states, but under certain specific conditions which individual states could decide on. For example, states could decide whether abortions were allowed only during the first and second trimester but not the third (typically beyond 28 weeks).
Among pro-choice campaigners, the decision was hailed as a victory which would mean fewer women would become seriously – or even fatally – ill from abortions carried out by unqualified or unlicensed practitioners. Moreover, the freedom of choice was considered a significant step in the equality fight for women in the country. Victims of rape or incest would be able to have the pregnancy terminated and not feel coerced into motherhood.
McCorvey became a born again Christian in 1995 and started advocating against abortion. Shown above in 1998, she died in 2017
However, pro-lifers contended it was tantamount to murder and that every life, no matter how it was conceived, is precious. Though the decision has never been overturned, anti-abortionists have prompted hundreds of states laws since then narrowing the scope of the ruling.
One such was the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act signed by President George W. Bush in 2003, which banned a procedure used to perform second-trimester abortions.
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe)
Following the ruling, McCorvey lived a quiet life until the 1980s when she revealed herself to be Jane Roe.
McCorvey became a leading, outspoken pro-abortion voice in American discourse, even working at a women’s clinic where abortions were performed.
However, she performed an unlikely U-turn in 1995, becoming a born again Christian and began traveling the country speaking out against the procedure.
In 2003, a she filed a motion to overturn her original 1973 ruling with the U.S. district court in Dallas.
The motion moved through the courts until it was ultimately denied by the Supreme Court in 2005.
McCorvey died at an assisted living home in Texas in February 2017, aged 69.
Shelley Lynn Thornton (Baby Roe)
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) gave birth to Shelley Lynn Thornton in Dallas in 1970 – a year before the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade case was filed. Shelley was the single mother’s third pregnancy. She gave her up for adoption the day after giving birth, then continued fighting for the right to abortion afterwards.
Shelley’s identity became public last year. She waived her right to anonymity, speaking out in multiple interviews about the landmark case.
She says that Norma used her for ‘publicity’, only trying to make contact with her when she was a teenager and for the wrong reasons.
‘It became apparent to me really quickly that the only reason why she wanted to reach out to me and find me was because she wanted to use me for publicity. She didn’t deserve to meet me. She never did anything in her life to get that privilege back.
Baby Roe: Shelley Lynn Thornton, a 51-year-old mother of three, has spoken out for the first time on camera. Her biological mother Norma McCorvey was Jane Roe, whose landmark lawsuit Roe vs Wade won women across America the right to have abortions
‘She never expressed genuine feeling for me or genuine remorse for doing the things that she did, saying the things that she did over and over and over again,’ Shelley said last year.
Shelley has refused to say whether or not she agrees with abortion, for fear of weaponized by either side of the debate.
‘A lot of people didn’t know I existed. It doesn’t revolve around me, I wasn’t the one who created this law. I’m not the one who created this movement. I had nothing to do with it. I was just a little itty-bitty thing and, you know, circumstances prevailed.
‘My whole thinking is that, ‘oh God everybody is going to hate me because everyone is going to blame me for abortion being legal.’