US abortion ban: Riot police deployed as protesters descend on Supreme Court

·29 min read
Officers in full riot gear have sealed the perimeter of the Supreme Court - GETTY IMAGES
Officers in full riot gear have sealed the perimeter of the Supreme Court - GETTY IMAGES

​Washington DC on Friday night mobilised its entire police force as hundreds of people descended on the Supreme Court, following the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Officers in full riot gear sealed the perimeter of the building in a bid to prevent trouble.

In New York City, thousands of abortion rights protesters took to Washington Square Park.

Joe Biden said the Supreme Court has made a "tragic error" in overturning the landmark decision that enshrined a women's right to an abortion.

"It is a sad day for the court and a sad day for the country," the US President said in an address to the nation from the White House.

"With Roe gone, the health and life of women in this nation is now at risk.

"It's a realisation of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view."

Abortion is now illegal in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio, and South Dakota.

But former President Donald Trump hailed the decision as: "The biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation," taking credit for nominating the three justices who tilted the balance of the court.

03:08 AM

Abortion 'earthquake': what happened on Friday

  • The US Supreme Court overturned the Roe v Wade ruling, which had enshrined the right to abortion nationwide for half a century

  • Joe Biden blamed Donald Trump for having enforced an “extreme ideology” on the country

  • About half of the 50 US states are expected to ban or severely restrict abortion in due course, with 36 million women estimated to be affected

  • Mr Biden warned that the court could soon similarly overturn same-sex marriage, and the right to use “birth control in the privacy of your bedroom, for God’s sake”

  • Mr Trump said it was the “biggest win for life in a generation” and only possible because “I delivered everything as promised”, including nominating the three justices

  • As demonstrators gathered outside the US Supreme Court, barricades were erected and the US braced for protests, with Mr Biden appealing for calm

  • Within hours of the ruling, Missouri became the first state to introduce a ban. Eric Schmitt, the state’s attorney general, said: “This is a monumental day for the sanctity of life.”

03:03 AM

US still committed to reproductive rights, says Blinken

Joe Biden's administration remains committed to reproductive rights globally, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday, hours after the Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion in the United States.

"Under this Administration, the State Department will remain fully committed to helping provide access to reproductive health services and advancing reproductive rights around the world," Mr Blinken said in a statement.

He added that his department his agency will do everything to ensure that all its employees have access to such services.

02:32 AM

'Wrong' for Utah women to pursue abortions in other states

Utah's abortion ban has gone into effect, triggered by the overturning of Roe v Wade.

The ban contains narrow exceptions for rape and incest if those crimes are reported to law enforcement, and for serious risk to the life or health of the mother, as well as confirmed lethal birth defects.

Legislative leaders said they had no plans to expand restrictions on abortion until they better understood the effects of Utah's law.

Dan McKay, the Republican state senator who sponsored the trigger law, said it would be wrong for Utah women to pursue abortions in neighbouring states but he had no immediate plans to press for travel curbs.

02:00 AM

In pictures: Thousands take to streets of New York

Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES
Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES
Protest in New York - BLOOMBERG
Protest in New York - BLOOMBERG
Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES
Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES
Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES
Protest in New York - GETTY IMAGES

01:39 AM

Ban becomes law in Ohio

A ban on most abortions at the first detectable foetal heartbeat became the law in Ohio on Friday following the Supreme Court decision.

Enforcement of Ohio's 2019 "heartbeat" ban had been on hold for nearly three years under a federal court injunction. The state attorney general, Republican Dave Yost, asked for that to be dissolved because of the court's Roe v Wade ruling, and a federal judge agreed hours later.

Critics had argued that the measure essentially prohibits abortions because the first detectable fetal heartbeat can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

01:11 AM

Billie Eilish: This is a dark day for America

Billie Eilish said it was a "dark day" for American women when she made history by becoming the youngest ever solo performer on Glastonbury's Pyramid stage on Friday night.

The 20-year-old multi-Grammy winner made the comment midway through a crowd-pleasing set that kicked off with hit Bury a Friend and ended with Bad Guy and Happier Than Ever.

Without directly referencing Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade, which recognised women's constitutional right to abortion, Eilish said: "Today us a really dark day for women in the US."

"I'm just going to say that because I can't bear to think about it anymore in this moment."

She then dedicated Your Power, a song about abusing power, to the subject.

Billie Eilish - AP
Billie Eilish - AP

12:45 AM

WHO chief criticises Supreme Court decision

The head of the World Health Organisation says he's "concerned and disappointed" about the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter that the ruling was "both reducing women's rights and access to health care".

He said there was "irrefutable" evidence that restricting legal abortions can drive women and girls to unsafe and sometimes deadly procedures.

Earlier on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that abortion is "a fundamental right for all women" that must be protected.

The French Foreign Ministry urged US federal authorities "to do everything possible" to ensure American women can have continued access to abortion, calling it "a health and survival issue for young girls and women".

12:24 AM

Protest in London outside US embassy

More than 100 demonstrators gathered on Friday outside the United States embassy in London to protest against the decision to scrap the constitutional right to abortion.

Wen-Wen Lindroth, UK chairwoman of Democrats Abroad, the official organisation of the Democrat party for US citizens living overseas, said it was a "momentous and sad day for the United States".

Speaking at the protest, she said: "I'm about the same age as Roe v Wade and, you know, I think a lot of women of my generation, we just took it for granted that the struggle for women's rights, you know, had come a very long way - maybe not all the way - but this was certainly one of the fundamental decisions that, you know, underlies our sense of equality in the US.

"So to have it taken way is very meaningful and it will impact women, you know, of older generations, of younger generations certainly, and it's just something that we're going to need to address politically and find a way to turn back."

Protesters outside the US embassy in west London on Friday - GETTY IMAGES
Protesters outside the US embassy in west London on Friday - GETTY IMAGES

11:55 PM

Abortions cease immediately in Alabama

Abortions swiftly came to a stop in Alabama as a 2019 state abortion ban took effect, making it a felony to perform an abortion at any state of pregnancy, with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

All three clinics in the state stopped providing services on Friday morning after a federal judge granted the state's request to lift an injunction and allow the state to enforce the ban. The only exception to the ban is for the sake of the mother's health.

"Today is a truly historic day," Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said. "The United States Supreme Court has, at long last, finally overturned its fatally flawed decision in Roe v Wade. The issue of abortion now returns to the states – and the State of Alabama has unequivocally elected to be a protector of unborn life."

Meanwhile, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called the Supreme Court decision an "egregious assault on basic human rights".

11:15 PM

'Nobody reads the Bible any more, dude'

At one point in the protest in Washington on Friday, a scuffle broke out and a small group of of pro-life activists had their signs taken out of their hands and trampled on by pro-choice demonstrators, Rozina Sabur writes.

One of them, a 19-year-old Washington resident, who did not want to give her name, said she often felt in the minority opinion in the US capital.

"But I think we're taking a step in the right direction," she said of the Supreme Court ruling.

"I'm counter-protesting and I'm really happy about the decision today, to protect the unborn, protect more human life."

Further along a small handful of Christian activists proclaimed the merits of the ruling while quoting the Bible.

"Nobody reads the Bible anymore, dude," a demonstrator yelled back.

10:31 PM

'Abort the liars'

The Telegraph's Washington Editor Rozina Sabur is on the ground in DC as hundreds of protesters are marching on the Supreme Court.

Some are carrying signs reading "Overturn Roe? Hell no!", "Hands off my uterus" and "Keep abortion safe and legal”.

Another carries a sign reading "Abort the liars", a reference to the conservative justices who had described Roe v Wade as settled law before being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

The crowd has been growing into the early evening despite the sweltering heat.

Laura Whitaker, 52, president of the Woman’s National Democratic Club, says: "The Supreme Court has gone back on the assertions that a lot of these justices made during their confirmation hearings to respect Roe as established law.

"It's an outrage and I want to come out here with fellow members of society."

10:12 PM

Protesters outside US Courthouse in LA

A group of protesters have gathered in front of the US Courthouse is Los Angeles, The New York Times is reporting.

California is one of the US states that have vowed to uphold abortion rights.

On Friday, following the Supreme Court ruling, California governor Gavin Newsom pledged to protect reproductive rights and help women who travel to the West Coast seeking abortions.

In a video statement alongside the governors of Oregon and Washington, Mr Newsom vowed to help women coming to California from neighbouring conservative states that have moved to outlaw abortion:

In LA, Becca Waite, 34, a nurse who helped organise the protest, told the Times: “Our goal is to call people into the streets, stand up and raise their voices and decide what side of history they will be on.” she said.

A protester in LA on Friday - AP
A protester in LA on Friday - AP

09:33 PM

Recap: Joe Biden's speech

This is how US President Joe Biden reacted to the Supreme Court's decision earlier.

09:15 PM

How the leaked draft differed from final ruling

The Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and ending constitutional protections for abortion hews closely to the leaked draft opinion that was published in May.

Key passages in Justice Samuel Alito's draft opinion and the final ruling released today are identical, including sharp denunciations of the Roe ruling as "egregiously wrong," with "exceptionally weak" reasoning and "damaging consequences."

The major additions to the final copy are pointed rebukes of the dissent from the court's three liberal justices as well as a concurring opinion from Chief Justice John Roberts, who said he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, but would have stopped short of ending the right to an abortion.

The draft opinion, labeled a "1st Draft" of the "Opinion of the Court" and published by Politico, was leaked in a nearly unprecedented breach of protocol that sent shockwaves through the country. The marshal of the Supreme Court is investigating what Roberts has described as "egregious breach of trust."

09:06 PM

South America moving in opposite direction

As the US overturns Roe v Wade, South America seeks to enshrine abortion as a fundamental right.

Chile’s women are on the brink of winning their fight as the region’s ‘green wave’ gains momentum.

Read a dispatch from Santiago here.

08:56 PM

South Dakota bans abortion

This is the three word tweet from Governor Kristi Noem:

Abortion is now illegal in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

08:36 PM

Keir Starmer condemns ban

The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer has tweeted: "Today's devastating Supreme Court decision is a massive setback for women's rights in the United States of America.

"The right of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies is a fundamental human right."

08:31 PM

Kamala Harris speaking in Illinois

The Vice President says:  "The great aspiration of our nation has been to expand freedom. But the expansion of freedom clearly is not inevitable. It is not something that just happens. Not unless we defend our most fundamental principles.

"This is not over."

08:25 PM

Tech companies braced for information requests

The technology industry is bracing for the uncomfortable possibility of having to hand over pregnancy-related data to law enforcement, in the wake of the US Supreme Court's decision on Friday to overturn the Roe v. Wade precedent that for decades guaranteed a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

As state laws limiting abortion kick in after the ruling, technology trade representatives told Reuters they fear police will obtain warrants for customers' search history, geolocation and other information indicating plans to terminate a pregnancy. Prosecutors could access the same via a subpoena, too.

The concern reflects how the data collection practices of companies like Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook parent Meta and Amazon have the potential to incriminate abortion-seekers for state laws that many in Silicon Valley oppose.

"It is very likely that there’s going to be requests made to those tech companies for information related to search histories, to websites visited," said Cynthia Conti-Cook, a technology fellow at the Ford Foundation.

Google declined to comment. Representatives for Amazon and Meta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

08:19 PM

Arkansas confirms banning of abortion

Governor Asa Hutchinson says: "Arkansas is a pro-life state, and we are able now to protect life."

08:07 PM

US ending abortion right a 'huge blow' to human rights : UN

The decision by the US Supreme Court on Friday to end the right to abortion is "a huge blow to women's human rights and gender equality", the United Nations said.

"Access to safe, legal and effective abortion is firmly rooted in international human rights law and is at the core of women and girls' autonomy and ability to make their own choices about their bodies and lives," UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

"This decision strips such autonomy from millions of women in the US, in particular those with low incomes and those belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, to the detriment of their fundamental rights."

More than 50 countries with restrictive laws have relaxed their abortion laws in the past 25 years, the former Chilean president said.

"With today's ruling, the US is regrettably moving away from this progressive trend."

07:44 PM

More people gathering at Supreme Court

Hundreds more people are gathering at the Supreme Court, following the decision around five hours ago.

Abortion rights demonstrators gather outside the US Supreme Court - Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Abortion rights demonstrators gather outside the US Supreme Court - Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Both pro-life and pro-abortion protesters are at the Supreme Court - Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Both pro-life and pro-abortion protesters are at the Supreme Court - Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Scores of people are protesting in Washington - AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Scores of people are protesting in Washington - AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

07:21 PM

Fears for same-sex marriage

A written opinion by one justice in the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion rights has ignited fears that other progressive gains, including same-sex marriage and contraception, could also be overturned.

Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the court, wrote that "in future cases" also involving privacy "we should reconsider."

Thomas cited Griswold v Connecticut, which enshrined the right to contraception in 1965; Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down laws penalizing same-sex relationships in 2003, and Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling protecting marriage for all.

Same-sex marriage remains a high-value target for Republicans and the religious right in the United States.

Thomas argued that, since the decisions were based on the same provision of the constitution on privacy as abortion rights, the court has "a duty to 'correct the error' established in those precedents."

In his address to the nation, US President Joe Biden said: "Justice Thomas explicitly called to reconsider the right of marriage equality, the right of couples to make their choices on contraception.

"This is an extreme and dangerous path that the court has now taken us on."

07:12 PM

No more Presidential appearances today

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports that the press briefing has been cancelled, despite protests from reporters.

07:09 PM

Police move in to protect Supreme Court

Heavily protected police officers are heading to the Supreme Court in order to maintain calm in the wake of the seismic ruling earlier today.

Singer John Legend expresses his displeasure at the situation.

07:02 PM

Protests starting across US and elsewhere

Groups of people have started gathering in other states and countries to protest the decision.

These pictures are taken from Edinburgh, Utah and South Carolina.

Anti Abortion demonstrators outside the American Consulate in Edinburgh - Alan Simpson Photography 
Anti Abortion demonstrators outside the American Consulate in Edinburgh - Alan Simpson Photography
People protest for abortion-rights at the Utah State Capitol - AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
People protest for abortion-rights at the Utah State Capitol - AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
Abortions rights supporters protest outside the South Carolina Statehouse  - AP Photo/Meg Kinnard
Abortions rights supporters protest outside the South Carolina Statehouse - AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

06:54 PM

Has the ruling affected you?

If the Supreme Court decision has had an impact on you, you can get in touch by filling in this form.

06:39 PM

Oklahoma officially bans abortion

The state joins Texas, Missouri and Arkansas in triggering their bill which bans abortion.

06:32 PM

Emmanuel Macron lashes out

The French President said in a statement: "Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I express my solidarity with the women whose freedoms are today taken away by the Supreme Court of the United States of America."

06:27 PM

Companies offer to pay for women to travel for abortions

America's largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, will cover expenses for US-based employees who need to travel far from home to get a medical service, including "legal abortions," according to a staff memo the bank sent earlier this month and seen by Reuters .

"We're focused on the health and well-being of our employees, and want to ensure equitable access to all benefits," said a bank spokeswoman on Friday.

JPMorgan is one of a growing number of big companies, including Citigroup, Amazon and Tesla, that rolled out policies to ensure staff have access to abortion services, in anticipation of Friday's ruling. The Walt Disney Co made a similar announcement today.

06:19 PM

Donald Trump releases statement

The former President is taking credit for what happened today.

He said: "Today’s decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation, along with other decisions that have been announced recently, were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.

"It was my great honour to do so! I did not cave to the Radical Left Democrats, their partners in the Fake News Media, or the RINOs who are likewise the true, but silent, enemy of the people.

These major Victories prove that even though the Radical Left is doing everything in their power to destroy our Country, your Rights are being protected, the Country is being defended, and there is still hope and time to Save America! I will never stop fighting for the Great People of our Nation!"

06:15 PM

Celebrities react

Singer Taylor Swift has said on Twitter: "I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are - that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that."

06:12 PM

Vatican praises decision

The Vatican's Academy for Life on Friday praised the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on abortion, saying it "challenges the whole world" on life issues.

The Vatican department also said in a statement that the defence of human life could not be confined to individual rights because life is a matter of "broad social significance".

06:06 PM

'I am spitting mad over this' says Elizabeth Warren

The influential Democrat Senator has expressed her anger at the opinion, saying: "I am spitting mad over this."

06:01 PM

France responds to ruling

French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna said that the abortion ruling marked a major setback in terms of human rights.

"Consternation: the overturning by the U.S. Supreme Court on the right to abortion marks a major setback for fundamental rights. France will continue to be ready to defend them," wrote Ms Colonna on her Twitter account.

05:51 PM

Biden leaves without answering questions

The President urges people to keep any protests peaceful.

Mr Biden finishes by saying: "With this decision, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court shows how extreme it is.

"With your vote, you can have the final verdict. This is not over.”

Mr Biden left without taking questions.

Joe Biden - REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Joe Biden - REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

05:48 PM

'This is extremely dangerous path'

“My administration will remain vigilant as the implications of this decision play out,” says Joe Biden, adding that the decision has taken America back "150 years."

“This is an extremely dangerous path the court is now taking us on.”

05:46 PM

Biden vows to protect women

He says: “Women must remain free to travel to another state to seek care if they need it. My administration will do everything to protect that bedrock right.”

05:44 PM

Biden urges those angry to vote

"It’s a sad day for the country. Voters need to make their voices heard… This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot.”

05:43 PM

Court has made a tragic error

"The court has done something it has never done before: expressly taken away a constitutional right for millions of Americans.

"The court has made a tragic error.

"A woman will be forced to bear her rapist’s child. It just stuns me."

05:40 PM

'Lives of women at risk' says Biden

"It is a sad day for the court and a sad day for the country," says Joe Biden.

"With Roe gone, the health and life of women in this nation is now at risk."

05:38 PM

Biden steps up to podium

US President Joe Biden is in the  the Cross Hall of the White House.

He opens by saying: "Today, it is not hyperbole to suggest it's a very solemn moment."

05:32 PM

Donald Trump says 'God made decision'

Former President Donald Trump, who nominated three of the nine justices has just said on Fox News that "God made the decision" on Roe v Wade.

He said the decision  "brings everything back to the states, where it has always belonged."

05:21 PM

Nancy Pelosi speech

Watch the House Speaker's emotional comments here:

05:17 PM

Tory MP retweets supportive tweet on Supreme Court decision

Scott Benton, the Conservative MP for Blackpool South has retweeted - and swiftly un-retweeted - the GOP tweet celebrating the abortion ruling.

05:11 PM

Abortion ruling 'horrific,' says Canada's Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade abortion rights decision was "horrific" and he sympathised with women "set to lose their legal right to an abortion."

"The news coming out of the United States is horrific. My heart goes out to the millions of American women who are now set to lose their legal right to an abortion," Trudeau said on Twitter.

"No government, politician, or man should tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body," he said.

05:03 PM

Abortion banned in Alabama

Alabama has now joined Missouri in enacting its trigger law.

Abortion is now illegal in the state and providers have been told to cease operations.

04:54 PM

US Attorney General slams ruling

Attorney General Merrick Garland says the Justice Department  "strongly disagrees with the Court’s decision" and it "deals a devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States. It will have an immediate and irreversible impact on the lives of people across the country."

04:49 PM

WHO chief disappointed by ruling

The head of the World Health Organisation has said he is very disappointed by the overturning of  Roe v Wade.

"I am very disappointed, because women’s rights must be protected. And I would have expected America to protect such rights," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told Reuters on the sidelines of a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

04:46 PM

More Republican reaction

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement: "This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society."

(The decision is) "courageous and correct."

Chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, Steve Daines: "The United States Supreme Court's decision ... ends a historic injustice and rightfully ends one of the world’s most horrific abortion policies ... The long overdue demise of judicially-imposed abortion on demand gives bright new hope to unborn children and their moms across America."

And in a joint statement from the three top Republicans in the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise and Elise Stefanik said: "Every unborn child is precious, extraordinary, and worthy of protection. We applaud this historic ruling, which will save countless innocent lives.

"The Supreme Court is right to return the power to protect the unborn to the people’s elected representatives in Congress and the states."

04:42 PM

Reaction in Washington

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the Supreme Court to protest the decision handed down this morning.

There are pro-abortion and anti-abortion groups competing on loudhailers.

Screams of “My Body, my Choice and We won’t go back!” cry out alongside “we are the Pro-life generation. And we just abolished abortion.”

An abortion rights demonstrator outside the US Supreme Court in Washington - Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
An abortion rights demonstrator outside the US Supreme Court in Washington - Samuel Corum/Bloomberg
Members of the House of Representatives walk from the Capitol to the Supreme Court to protest the abortion decision - AP Photo/Steve Helber
Members of the House of Representatives walk from the Capitol to the Supreme Court to protest the abortion decision - AP Photo/Steve Helber
Pro-life groups celebrating outside the Supreme Court - AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Pro-life groups celebrating outside the Supreme Court - AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

04:31 PM

Watch: Nancy Pelosi eviscerates ruling

The House Speaker started by saying: "There's no point in saying good morning because it certainly is not one."

04:27 PM

Boris Johnson: US Supreme Court ruling is a big step backwards 

"I think it's a big step backwards," said the British Prime Minister at a press conference in Rwanda.

"I've always believed in a woman's right to choose and I stick to that view and that's why the UK has the laws that it does.

"We recently took steps to make sure that those laws were enforced throughout the whole of the UK."

Boris Johnson in Rwanda today - EUGENE UWIMANA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock 
Boris Johnson in Rwanda today - EUGENE UWIMANA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

04:23 PM

Biden to speak at 5:30pm UK time

The White House says President Biden will address the nation following the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe vs. Wade at 12:30 pm Eastern Time, which is 5:30pm in the UK.

The president will speak on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organisation decision from the Cross Hall of the White House.

04:20 PM

Michelle Obama 'heartbroken'

In a lengthy statement, the former First Lady said: "When we don't understand our history, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes."

04:14 PM

What does the public think?

The Supreme Court decision was handed down by a group of nine justices. Three of the six conservative-leaning justices were appointed by former President Donald Trump.

But public opinion does not reflect their ruling.

04:10 PM

Which states have trigger laws?

Currently, 13 states have trigger laws, which are set to ban abortion immediately.

They are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

04:05 PM

Missouri Attorney General speaks with pride

Eric Schmitt, Missouri's Attorney General, signed a law just moments ago which will ban abortion in the state.

This is what he said:

04:03 PM

Obama slams ruling

Former US president Barack Obama slammed the decision by the Supreme Court to throw out the right to abortion in the United States on Friday, calling it an attack on "essential freedoms."

"Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues - attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans," he tweeted.

04:01 PM

Mike Pence says abortion 'consigned to the ash heap of history'

Former US vice president Mike Pence  said the right to abortion had been "consigned to the ash heap of history" as he hailed a Supreme Court ruling that ended 50 years of constitutional protections.

"By returning the question of abortion to the states and the people, this Supreme Court has righted a historic wrong, and reaffirmed the right of the American people to govern themselves," said Pence, a Republican potential presidential candidate and leading anti-abortion campaigner.

Mike Pence - Gent SHKULLAKU / AFP
Mike Pence - Gent SHKULLAKU / AFP

03:58 PM

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker makes statement

"This is deadly serious," she says.

"Their goal is to criminalise reproductive freedom," the Democrat says of Republicans.

"This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching, but remember, it is all on the ballot in November."

03:56 PM

The ruling in full

The Supreme Court's ruling stretches to 213 pages.

Read it in full here:

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