Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, ending Constitutional protections for abortions that have been in place since 1973.
The decision announced by the nation’s highest court on June 24 was expected to result in abortion bans in roughly half of the 50 states, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
The court voted 6-to-3 to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks, Bloomberg reported.
The justices also voted 5-to-4 to explicitly overturn Roe v. Wade and the rights it established almost 50 years ago.
They also overturned Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, Bloomberg reported.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey said the 14th Amendment prevented states from imposing significant restrictions until about 23 weeks into a pregnancy, which is considered fetal viability.
The ruling was handed down more than a month after a leaked draft of the opinion that indicated that Supreme Court planned to reverse Roe v. Wade was published by the media, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Pro-life and pro-choice activists have repeatedly clashed during protests in front of the court and more demonstrations were planned for after the decision was released.
One group called “Ruth Sent Us” published the home addresses of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts.
Supporters of abortion rights have protested in front of the homes of the conservative Supreme Court justices.
One man was arrested after he traveled from California to Maryland with a gun and plans to kill Kavanaugh at his home.
Twenty-six states are expected to ban almost all abortions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, Bloomberg reported.
Abortion rights group the Guttmacher Institute said that 13 states have trigger laws in place that were designed to automatically outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade were ever overturned.
Alito, who wrote the majority opinion overturning the landmark ruling, said in the leaked draft that the Roe v. Wade decision “usurped the power to address a question of profound moral and social importance that the Constitution unequivocally leaves for the people,” Bloomberg reported.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
Protesters immediately began gathering outside the Supreme Court in the wake of the decision, the Associated Press reported.