(The Center Square) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that prevented states from banning abortion.
The court ruled 6-3 that there is no Constitutional right to an abortion, and it is therefore up to each state to decide how to handle the issue. Several states have already lined up legislation to restrict abortion in anticipation of this ruling.
"Finally, the Court considers whether a right to obtain an abortion is part of a broader entrenched right that is supported by other precedents," the ruling said. "The Court concludes the right to obtain an abortion cannot be justified as a component of such a right. Attempts to justify abortion through appeals to a broader right to autonomy and to define one's 'concept of existence' prove too much."
The case in question began with a legal challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch last year requested that the Supreme Court use that case to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The ruling comes after the court last year allowed a Texas law to stand that banned abortions after six weeks, when a baby's heartbeat is detectable.
A leak from the Supreme Court earlier this year that indicated Roe v. Wade could be overturned sparked controversy and led to protests outside multiple Justices' homes and a failed assassination attempt against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Fencing and barricades were erected around the court, and law enforcement presence increased after the leak. Demonstrators on both sides gathered outside the court all week along with law enforcement in anticipation of the ruling.
Pro-life advocates celebrated the ruling.
"Laws across the country can now affirm that life is a human right and ensure women have greater access to the support and resources they need and deserve," said Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner.
Now, the energy on abortion will likely ramp up at the state level, where each state government can now decide how to handle the controversial issue.
"We now turn to the states to ensure that unborn children and their mothers are protected from the gruesome reality of abortion, and that they receive the care and resources they need to flourish," Waggoner said. "Mississippi asked the court to overturn Roe because that case was egregiously wrong and had no basis in constitutional text, structure, or history. Additionally, Roe's changing standards have long been unworkable, which is why so many pro-life laws ended up in court. It also failed to account for changing science, which demonstrates that life begins at conception. Today is a day of celebration, but the battle continues, as states either respect or shirk their responsibility to protect the life and health of women and children."