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Overturning Roe v. Wade has been a major goal for the anti-abortion movement for many years. Yet the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision—leaked on 2 May, with the definitive decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization handed down by Justice Alito on 24 June—has shocked those campaigning for reproductive rights in the USA and around the world. Editorials in international scientific journals immediately pointed out that the SCOTUS decision runs counter to a large body of medical evidence, public health advice and fundamental human rights.1
A state of chaos is just beginning.2 At the time of writing, 22 US states have laws which mean a total or near-total ban on abortion is immediate or due within 30 days of the decision.3 A further four states are likely to introduce a ban as soon as they are able. At least 16 states plan to continue to protect abortion rights.4 Eleven state governors have signed Executive Orders protecting patients and providers in the new landscape. Inter-state travel for abortion is already happening, but for many people this is unaffordable or unfeasible. Those from marginalised communities, poorer socioeconomic groups and people of colour will be disproportionately affected by this gross interference with …
Twitter @rowlands999, @MiraHarrison4
Contributors SR is guarantor.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.