by Photo courtesy of the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade on Friday, which strips away the federal right to abortion established more than 50 years ago.

President Biden spoke after the Supreme Court’s decision, saying the ruling is “literally taking America back 125 years," and called on voters to vote for representatives who will codify the right to abortion. 

"Let me be very clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure a woman's right to choose … is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law. No executive action from the President can do that," he said.

It is a decision many would have never imagined a few years ago until POLITICO leaked Justice Samuel Alito’s initial draft minority opinion. The controversial but expected ruling passed in a 6-3 decision to overturn the 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion. 

The ruling overturned Roe, and the 1992 Supreme Court decision upholding abortion rights case, Planned Parenthood v. Caseys. Nearly half of the states are expected to ban or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on a Mississippi case known as Dobbs V. Jackson Women ‘s Health Organization, which bans abortions after 15 weeks roughly two months ago. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading reproductive advocacy group, abortion-related agendas soared across the county in the first six months of 2022. Many of these laws “sharply curtail abortion rights and access to care, and criminalize an action that helps someone seek an abortion”. 

In the first half of 2022, 12 states enacted 43 abortion restrictions, according to a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute. Many of those restrictions were either general abortion bans or restrictions on medical abortion. 

Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Dakota passed 18 restrictions on medical abortion. Guttmacher research shows that following two decades of safe and effective use, medication abortion accounted for 54% of all US abortions in 2020

In addition to Oklahoma, 25 other states are certain or likely to ban abortion. Thirteen states, including Oklahoma, have “trigger” bans set to go into effect shortly after a decision overturning Roe.

The White House released the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, a whole-of-government approach to combatting maternal mortality and morbidity. Officials say this maternal health crisis is devastating for Black women, Native women, and women in rural communities, who all experience maternal mortality and morbidity at significantly higher rates than their white and urban counterparts.

The plan outlines five priorities, such as access to coverage of comprehensive quality maternal and mental health services, ensuring women giving birth are heard and decision-makers in accountable systems of care, expanding and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and strengthening economic and social support for people in all stages of pregnancy. 

Advancing data collection, standardization, harmonization, transparency, and research will be prioritized in the plan, along with other actions that aim to support people who are pregnant, postpartum, or hoping to become pregnant. 

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