The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to an abortion via a 6-3 vote.
The ruling overturns the near half-century-old decision a few weeks after an early draft of the opinion was leaked back in May, resulting in several days of demonstrations throughout the country.
While the court’s decision does not make abortion illegal, it does allow for individual states to move to ban the practice. Bans are expected in roughly half of the fifty U.S. states.
Those among the Supreme Court who voted to overrule Roe v. Wade included Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority but said he would have taken “a more measured course,” noting that he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and said no more.
Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were in dissent, writing: “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.”