US Supreme Court strikes down abortion rights

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US Supreme Court strikes down abortion rights

Millions of women in the US will lose the legal right to abortion, after the Supreme Court overturned a 50-year-old ruling that legalised it nationwide.

The court struck down the landmark Roe v Wade decision, weeks after an unprecedented leaked document suggested it favoured doing so.

The judgement will transform abortion rights in America, with individual states now able to ban the procedure.

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Half of US states are expected to introduce new restrictions or bans.

Thirteen have already passed so-called trigger laws that will automatically outlaw abortion following the Supreme Court’s ruling. A number of others are likely to pass new restrictions quickly.

In total, abortion access is expected to be cut off for about 36 million women of reproductive age, according to research from Planned Parenthood, a healthcare organisation that provides abortions.

The Supreme Court had been considering a case, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that challenged Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks.

But the conservative-majority court ruled in favour of the state by a vote of six to three along ideological lines – effectively ending the constitutional right to an abortion.

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