The US Supreme Court has overturned a 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion.
In a long-awaited judgment, the court said that the US constitution did not confer a right to abortion, and overruled the Roe v Wade ruling, describing it as “egregiously wrong”.
“The authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” the court said.
The 6-3 ruling, which upheld a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks, could open the way for other states to ban or limit rights to abortion in the wake of the ruling.
‘No implicit right’
The court said that the US constitution made no reference to a right to abortion, and that the 1973 ruling had decided that an implicit right sprang from various amendments – including a right to privacy.
The Supreme Court stated that the right to obtain an abortion “cannot be justified” as a component of a broader entrenched right, supported by other precedents.
“Until the latter part of the 20th century, there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion,” it said.
“This consensus endured until the day Roe was decided,” it added.