On 24 June 2022, the US Supreme Court made the momentous decision to overturn the wrongheaded 1973 Roe v Wade decision which found that there was a constitutional right to abortion in the US Constitution.
The 2022 Dobbs decision affirmed that there was no constitutional right to an abortion in the US, which has had the impact of empowering states to decide their own abortion laws.
A year on, several states have adopted firmly pro-life laws which have ended the provision of legal abortion. Elsewhere, heartbeat bills and other measures have greatly restricted abortion and helped to save lives. The US is now undergoing a serious debate over abortion which was largely theoretical prior to the overturn of Roe v Wade.
A new poll shows that 77% of Americans want limits on abortion. Meanwhile, just 15% want abortion to be “allowed throughout all nine months of pregnancy, without any restrictions”, which is increasingly the view espoused by leaders of the Democratic Party including President Joe Biden.
The overturning of Roe v Wade was widely welcomed at the time. It has helped to refine the nature of the abortion debate in the US, which has also generated renewed discussions globally.