Roe v. Wade is history after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which affirmed a Mississippi law that prohibited abortion after 15 weeks.
The ruling effectively overturns Roe, the landmark case that ushered in legalized abortion across the United States in 1973.
As expected, following the May 2 leak of a draft ruling, Justice Samuel Alito penned the majority opinion which was joined by fellow Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.
The ruling absolutely rejects the reasoning and justification behind Roe v. Wade, calling it “exceptionally weak,” and “egregiously wrong” with no grounding in history or constitutional law.
The ruling now turns the abortion question over to each state to decide individually.
A large police force has been gathered outside the court this month to monitor pro-abortion activists who have been marching, chanting and attempting to intimidate the justices in anticipation that they would overturn Roe, the landmark decision in 1973 that legalized abortion across the country. More than 62 million unborn babies have died since that ruling.
Pro-abortion activists have also been attacking pro-life centers and vandalizing churches.
Tensions began to mount after a draft opinion of Dobbs was leaked on May 2. Like many other areas of the country, Alaska has seen at least one church and one pro-life pregnancy center vandalized since the leak. Both the Community Pregnancy Center in Anchorage and St. Andrew Church in Eagle River were attacked over the last few weeks with graffiti, property damage and nails scattered in the parking lots.
Alaska is one of 22 other states that signed onto an amicus brief urging the court to overturn Roe.
While reversing Roe would has no immediate impact on Alaska, it does allow some 20 states with pro-life laws on the books to begin enforcing them.
Alaska’s abortion laws, however, are among the most liberal in the nation, and the State Supreme Court has struck down every legislative, executive or citizen-led attempt to restrict or ban the killing of unborn babies. Not only does Alaska fail to restrict abortion even modestly, it also publicly underwrites the procedures with state allocated Medicaid funds.
Some pro-lifers argue that Alaska needs to amend its constitution to explicitly clarify that nothing in the constitution can be construed to justify abortion. Others maintain that the constitution should include a personhood amendment guaranteeing that every unborn child has a right to life.
Others maintain that Alaska could address the abortion question through a constitutional convention. Every 10 years Alaskans are asked whether to call a Constitutional Convention. The next opportunity to vote for a convention is this November.
Still others argue that Alaskans should not bother with a constitutional amendment, but the State Legislature should use its existing constitutional authority to explicitly define what the “right to privacy” means in Alaska Constitution, and clarify to the State Supreme Court that it does not entail abortion, nor can it be used to justify it.
This is a developing story.