US Supreme Court abortion ruling: Live reaction as Roe v. Wade overturned
The US Supreme Court has overturned a key ruling on abortion, paving the way for more states to outlaw the procedure.
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that a Texas law placing restrictions on abortion clinics and doctors violates the US Constitution.
The 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalised abortion nationwide, but the new ruling will allow individual states to enact their own laws.
What does the ruling mean?
The court’s decision means that the dozens of abortion clinics that have closed in Texas in recent years will likely stay shuttered.
It also means that other states with similar laws on the books – including Alabama, Wisconsin and Mississippi – can now enforce them.
The ruling is a major victory for anti-abortion activists and a major setback for abortion rights groups.
How did the court rule?
In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled that the Texas law violates the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to privacy.
Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said: “The court’s decision today is a victory for women across America.”
He added: “It is a victory for common sense and basic humanity.”
What was the Texas law?
The Texas law, passed in 2013, required abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as “ambulatory surgical centres” – a type of outpatient surgery centre.
It also required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48km) of the clinic.
Supporters of the law said it was necessary to protect women’s health, but opponents said it was a thinly veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions.
What happens next?
The ruling is likely to embolden anti-abortion activists in their efforts to pass more restrictions on abortion.
It also sets the stage for a bitter battle in the US Congress over President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
Mr Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault, is seen as a key vote in any future abortion cases that come before the court.