Roe v Wade overturned: Joe Biden to address Supreme Court decision sending shockwaves through US


US President Joe Biden is poised to address the nation after the Supreme Court voted to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision that enshrined a women’s right to an abortion.

“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 court said.

Some 13 states have trigger laws that will ban abortion as soon as they are signed, with Missouri and Alabama already doing so.

Follow below for the latest updates.

05:21 PM

Nancy Pelosi speech

Watch the House Speaker’s emotional comments here:

05:17 PM

Tory MP retweets supportive tweet on Supreme Court decision

Scott Benton, the Conservative MP for Blackpool South has retweeted – and swiftly un-retweeted – the GOP tweet celebrating the abortion ruling.

05:11 PM

Abortion ruling ‘horrific,’ says Canada’s Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade abortion rights decision was “horrific” and he sympathised with women “set to lose their legal right to an abortion.”

“The news coming out of the United States is horrific. My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

“No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body,” he said.

05:03 PM

Abortion banned in Alabama

Alabama has now joined Missouri in enacting its trigger law.

Abortion is now illegal in the state and providers have been told to cease operations.

04:54 PM

US Attorney General slams ruling

Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department  “strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision” and it “deals a devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States. It will have an immediate and irreversible impact on the lives of people across the country.”

04:49 PM

WHO chief disappointed by ruling

The head of the World Health Organisation has said he is very disappointed by the overturning of  Roe v Wade.

“I am very disappointed, because women’s rights must be protected. And I would have expected America to protect such rights,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Reuters on the sidelines of a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

04:46 PM

More Republican reaction

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement: “This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.”

(The decision is) “courageous and correct.”

Chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, Steve Daines: “The United States Supreme Court’s decision … ends a historic injustice and rightfully ends one of the world’s most horrific abortion policies … The long overdue demise of judicially-imposed abortion on demand gives bright new hope to unborn children and their moms across America.”

And in a joint statement from the three top Republicans in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik said: “Every unborn child is precious, extraordinary, and worthy of protection. We applaud this historic ruling, which will save countless innocent lives.

“The Supreme Court is right to return the power to protect the unborn to the people’s elected representatives in Congress and the states.”

04:42 PM

Reaction in Washington

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest the decision handed down this morning.

There are pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups competing on loudhailers.

Screams of “My Body, my Choice and We won’t go back!” cry out alongside “we are the Pro-life generation. And we just abolished abortion.”

An abortion rights demonstrator outside the US Supreme Court in Washington - Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
An abortion rights demonstrator outside the US Supreme Court in Washington – Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
Members of the House of Representatives walk from the Capitol to the Supreme Court to protest the abortion decision - AP Photo/Steve Helber
Members of the House of Representatives walk from the Capitol to the Supreme Court to protest the abortion decision – AP Photo/Steve Helber
Pro-life groups celebrating outside the Supreme Court - AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Pro-life groups celebrating outside the Supreme Court – AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

04:31 PM

Watch: Nancy Pelosi eviscerates ruling

The House Speaker started by saying: “There’s no point in saying good morning because it certainly is not one.”

04:27 PM

Boris Johnson: US Supreme Court ruling is a big step backwards 

“I think it’s a big step backwards,” said the British Prime Minister at a press conference in Rwanda.

“I’ve always believed in a woman’s right to choose and I stick to that view and that’s why the UK has the laws that it does.

“We recently took steps to make sure that those laws were enforced throughout the whole of the UK.”

Boris Johnson in Rwanda today - EUGENE UWIMANA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 
Boris Johnson in Rwanda today – EUGENE UWIMANA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

04:23 PM

Biden to speak at 5:30pm UK time

The White House says President Biden will address the nation following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe vs. Wade at 12:30 pm Eastern Time, which is 5:30pm in the UK.

The president will speak on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation decision from the Cross Hall of the White House.

04:20 PM

Michelle Obama ‘heartbroken’

In a lengthy statement, the former First Lady said: “When we don’t understand our history, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.”

04:14 PM

What does the public think?

The Supreme Court decision was handed down by a group of nine justices. Three of the six conservative-leaning justices were appointed by former President Donald Trump.

But public opinion does not reflect their ruling.

04:10 PM

Which states have trigger laws?

Currently, 13 states have trigger laws, which are set to ban abortion immediately.

They are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

04:05 PM

Missouri Attorney General speaks with pride

Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s Attorney General, signed a law just moments ago which will ban abortion in the state.

This is what he said:

04:03 PM

Obama slams ruling

Former US president Barack Obama slammed the decision by the Supreme Court to throw out the right to abortion in the United States on Friday, calling it an attack on “essential freedoms.”

“Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues – attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans,” he tweeted.

04:01 PM

Mike Pence says abortion ‘consigned to the ash heap of history’

Former US vice president Mike Pence  said the right to abortion had been “consigned to the ash heap of history” as he hailed a Supreme Court ruling that ended 50 years of constitutional protections.

“By returning the question of abortion to the states and the people, this Supreme Court has righted a historic wrong, and reaffirmed the right of the American people to govern themselves,” said Pence, a Republican potential presidential candidate and leading anti-abortion campaigner.

Mike Pence - Gent SHKULLAKU / AFP
Mike Pence – Gent SHKULLAKU / AFP

03:58 PM

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker makes statement

“This is deadly serious,” she says.

“Their goal is to criminalise reproductive freedom,” the Democrat says of Republicans.

“This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching, but remember, it is all on the ballot in November.”

03:56 PM

The ruling in full

The Supreme Court’s ruling stretches to 213 pages.

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