June 24, 2022 Roe v. Wade news

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:19 a.m. ET, June 25, 2022
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4:10 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

DHS warns of potential violent extremist activity in response to Supreme Court's decision on abortion

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

The Department of Homeland Security intelligence branch notified law enforcement, first responders and private sector partners nationwide Friday of potential domestic violence extremist activity in response to the Supreme Court's decision on abortion, according to a memo obtained by CNN.

The memo, from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, says federal and state government officials, including judges “probably are at most risk for violence in response to the decision." 

It also includes warnings about "First Amendment protected events," reproductive and “family advocacy health care facilities,” and faith-based organizations being targets for violence or criminal incidents. 

"Americans’ freedom of speech and right to peacefully protest are fundamental Constitutional rights. Those rights do not extend to violence and other illegal activity. DHS will continue working with our partners across every level of government to share timely information and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe," a Homeland Security spokesperson told CNN in a statement. 

DHS previously released a National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin warning of potential violence surrounding the Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights.

4:14 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Here are the answers to your questions about what overturning Roe v. Wade means for abortion rights

From CNN's Tierney Sneed

Anti-abortion demonstrators outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 24.
Anti-abortion demonstrators outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on Friday, June 24. (Samuel Corum/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. Going forward, abortion rights will be determined by states, unless Congress acts. 

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about what this ruling means.

Will women get arrested for having an abortion?

An abortion-seeker's criminal liability will depend on the abortion policies that her state put into place.

Leaders of the anti-abortion movement have said in the past that women shouldn't be prosecuted for obtaining an abortion and that criminal laws prohibiting it should be aimed at abortion providers or others who facilitate the procedure. Several states with abortion prohibitions that could go into effect with Roe's reversal have language exempting from prosecution the woman who obtained the abortion.

There's also nothing to stop lawmakers from passing the laws calling for the prosecution of the people who sought the abortion.

In the event of rape or incest or even underage pregnancy, where does the law lie for these individuals?

Exemptions in abortion bans for rape, incest or the health of the mother will now vary state by state. In the wave of abortion limits that have been passed by state legislatures recently in anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruling, only a few of the proposals included exemptions for rape and incest.

It's a question lawmakers will likely revisit now that the opinion has been handed down. While previewing plans to call a special legislative session once the opinion is issued, Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he opposed rape or incest exemptions. On the flip side, Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN this May that he supported adding rape and incest exemptions in the trigger law currently on the books in the state.

How are in vitro fertilizations defined? If a state defines the fertilized egg as a human with rights, then if a doctor fertilizes four eggs, but does [not] implant all four in a woman, is that homicide?

What this opinion means for fertility treatments is still uncertain. Some state laws have language that would appear to exempt the disposal of unused embryos created for IVF, but that language doesn't necessarily exempt the process of selective reduction — when a woman whose fertility treatments lead to multiple pregnancies has one or more of those fetuses terminated to protect the viability of the other fetuses and/or the health of the mother. More broadly, fertility law experts raise concerns about how Roe's reversal will embolden lawmakers to regulate IVF procedures — which have been largely shielded from the abortion debate because of the protections of Roe.

Why does the currently Democrat-controlled legislature not pass a federal law making abortion legal?

Democrats currently lack the votes to dismantle the Senate filibuster, a 60-vote procedural mechanism that Republicans can use to block federal abortion rights legislation — so as long as 40 senators oppose abortion rights. But it's worth noting that the Women's Health Protection Act — a bill that would codify and expand upon Roe — failed 49-51 when it was voted on in May in the Senate, meaning that, even without the filibuster, it would have not become law.

There are also legal questions about whether it would be constitutional for federal lawmakers to enact a nationwide ban. The late Justice Antonin Scalia stressed in his legal writings about abortion that the policy decisions belonged in the hands of individual states, while expressing skepticism that Congress has the constitutional authority to regulate the procedure.

Get more answers to common questions here.

5:00 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Arkansas attorney general signs certification banning abortion in the state

From CNN's Jamiel Lynch 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaks during a press conference in 2018.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaks during a press conference in 2018. (Toya Sarno Jordan/Getty Images)

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Friday signed a certification that prohibits abortions in the state.

Rutledge certified Act 180, which passed in the state in 2019.

Through tears, Rutledge said, “I will always recall where I was when the Dobbs decision came down. As the first woman ever elected attorney general, as someone who it took a long time for God to decide it was time for me to be a mom, I can’t wait for other women across Arkansas to have that same joy of seeing their child’s face that maybe they would not have seen had it not been for today’s decision."

Rutledge earlier said, "none of us thought today would come in our lifetimes," adding, "Roe was wrong on that day and it has been wrong every day since."

Rutledge said the Supreme Court decision puts Arkansas' anti-abortion laws in place and allows the state to ban abortions — with the only exception being to save the life of a mother in a medical emergency.

During the news conference, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the decision is "a turning point for our nation."

"Since Roe v. Wade was decided, the states that desired to protect unborn life has been prohibited from doing so. Personally, I'm grateful for the court's ruling today because I've fought for a number of decades for greater protections for the unborn throughout my political life," he said.

Hutchinson said he will be directing the Arkansas Department of Health to enforce the new law in the state and make sure any abortion provider is in compliance and understand the penalties. 

"This does not put at risk access to contraceptives or other issues that are tangentially related," he said. 

The state regulation of abortions can still be challenged, he said. But that challenge cannot be based on a constitutional right. 

"We need as a state and a nation to continue to support women who have unwanted pregnancies, and for some they see abortion as an only solution," Hutchinson added.

3:50 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

"It just feels barbaric": Young women in favor of abortion access express anger after SCOTUS ruling

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

CNN spoke with a number of young women in favor of abortion access on Friday who expressed fear and anger following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I’m torn and scared for the future,” said Nisa Ortiz, a 25-year-old mother of a four-year-old daughter.

“I will say that if my birth control failed me in the near future, I definitely wouldn’t be ready for another child and feel like I’d be stuck having to make a decision that I wouldn’t be able to afford or a life that wouldn’t be suitable for two kids,” said Ortiz, who is from Dallas, Texas. 

“This is scary. I’m scared for my friends who have had pregnancy complications before, and the younger generation of 13-to-21-year-olds will face the brunt of it,” she said.

Nicolette Carrion, a 19-year-old from New York, pointed to the impact this decision could have on women of color. 

“Women are literally losing our rights and we are going backwards. It just feels barbaric,” Carrion said. “These issues are magnified for women of color.” 

“As a woman of color, it’s obvious there is a racial wealth gap that exists,” Carrion said, adding that she worries about less access for sexual health resources depending on one’s socioeconomic background.

“As a result of this decision, women are deemed to just be this vessel for having children,” she said, pointing to the reality that it was mostly men who made the decision. “Now we’re just objects, where our reproductive abilities are controlled by the state we live in.”

Celeste Lintz, a 21-year-old student at University of Pittsburgh, said she was studying abroad in South Africa when the draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked earlier this year.

At the time, Lintz said, “I was very, very scared to come back to the United States to see what was going to happen.”

“As a young woman, seeing this in the US is beyond disheartening. I am afraid of what this precedent sets going forward, what other rights might be taken away,” Lintz said, listing access to contraceptives and reproductive health care.

“My initial reaction is disgust. I felt physically ill. But my most pressing feeling was anger and rage,” said Olivia Julianna, a 19-year-old political strategy specialist for the group Gen-Z for Change, a collective of online creators and activists.

The Texan expressed her anger with Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, adding that she is working to ensure he is not elected again.

“They just poured gasoline on the fire that lives in the heart of every abortion rights advocate,” Julianna said.

“Although I may not work on the ground or in a clinic, I use digital advocacy and the power of social media to share information and resources to people across the country and rally them behind calls to action concerning reproductive healthcare,” she said.

Celestina Sunny, a 23-year-old from Dallas, said she believes that if lawmakers want to prevent abortion, they should consider investments into sex education.

“If this was really about preventing abortion, our government would invest in sex education and access to birth control,��� she said.

“What’s most heartbreaking to me is that this decision is really going to affect women who are already marginalized and whose socioeconomic position already predicates safe abortion access. I’m really thinking about them today,” she said.

4:43 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Harris says SCOTUS decision is a "health care crisis"

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on Friday, June 24.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on Friday, June 24. (Pool)

Vice President Kamala Harris slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in remarks in Illinois on Friday. Harris was initially supposed to unveil a new administration strategy to improve maternal health, but said “this is a health care crisis.” 

“For nearly 50 years, we have talked about what Roe v. Wade protects,” Harris said in a speech. “Today … we can only talk about what Roe v. Wade protected. Past tense. This is a health care crisis.”

The vice president, the first woman elected to the office in the US, said millions of women will go to bed tonight without access to the same healthcare protections that they had just this morning. And that their mothers and grandmothers had as well.

“This is the first time in our history that a constitutional right has been taken from the people of America,” she added.

Harris said the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade today could also affect other "rights that we thought were settled" — including same-sex marriage.

"This opinion also says when you read it, that abortion is not deeply rooted in our nation's history. They offer that in the opinion as a foundation for the decision they rendered today. In holding that it is not deeply rooted in our history, today's decision on that theory, then, calls into question other rights that we thought were settled, such as the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage, the right to interracial marriage," the vice president said, speaking in Illinois.

"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. Not unless we elect leaders who stand up for those principles," Harris said.

"You have the power to elect leaders who will defend and protect your rights. And as the president said earlier today, with your vote, you can act, and you have the final word. So this is not over," she said.

WATCH:

3:40 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

These states will move quickly to prohibit abortion

From CNN's Tierney Sneed

Now that the Supreme Court has given the green light for lawmakers to prohibit abortion, several states, most of them Republican-led, have taken quick steps to do so. In at least seven states, state officials say that abortion bans can now be enforced.

Three states — Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota — have so-called "trigger bans" that went into effect automatically with the Supreme Court's reversal Friday of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had established a constitutional right to an abortion. Ten other states have trigger bans with implementation mechanisms that occur after a set period or after a step taken by a state government entity.

Among the trigger-ban states in the latter category, Missouri has already made the move required to implement its ban on abortion, with state Attorney General Eric Schmitt announcing Friday that he had taken the step of certification laid out by Missouri law.

Oklahoma, which had recently put in place a law banning most abortions, has also taken the step of implementing its trigger ban, according to a certification letter from the attorney general tweeted by a state Senate leader on Friday. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also certified the state's trigger ban, allowing it take effect on Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced.

In Texas, where the trigger ban is to be implemented on the 30th day after the Supreme Court ruling, Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced that local prosecutors may now begin enforcing an abortion ban passed by the state before the Roe ruling. Several other states have similar pre-Roe bans, but it's not clear yet whether they'll now seek to enforce them and whether such maneuvers will be challenged in court.

Other states have prohibitions on abortion that had been blocked by courts that had cited Roe's guarantee of a right to abortion. Those states may act quickly to have those court orders lifted so that those restrictions can go into effect. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey referenced a court order that had halted the state's 2019 abortion ban and said in a statement that Alabama "will immediately ask the court to strike down any legal barriers to enforcing this law."

It's likely that elsewhere in the country, state legislatures will soon be called back into session to pass strict abortion laws that previously would have run afoul of Roe.

Indiana's Republican Gov. Eric J. Holcomb is calling for a return of the General Assembly on July 6 so that legislators can consider anti-abortion legislation.

CNN's Tami Luhby and Avery Lotz contributed to this report.

3:43 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Attorney in 1973 Roe v. Wade case says SCOTUS decision "flies in the face of American freedom"

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Attorney Linda Coffee speaks during an interview on May 6.
Attorney Linda Coffee speaks during an interview on May 6. (Francois Picard/AFP/Getty Images) 

Linda Coffee, who was the lead attorney for Norma McCorvey — known in court documents as Jane Roe — in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade, said the Supreme Court's decision to overturn it “flies in the face of American freedom."

"It is a purely political response driven by a minority of Americans, and does not represent the majority of Americans. But more than this, the decision destroys dignity of all American women, and even minors. Dignity is a human experience; the US Supreme Court has destroyed human dignity with their thoughtless political decision. It is a sad day for Americans,” Coffee said.  

“In addition, the decision will set up years of litigation over the commerce clause and a woman’s inability to receive acceptable health care state-to-state. The added cost and inconvenience of a woman seeking needed health care, and facing the lack of services in her state, is a direct attack on the right to privacy, as well as equality expected when it is violation of the commerce clause of federal law and the US Constitution. The litigation will be endless, and chaos will ensure for American women, as a class of citizens.”

Linda Coffee in 1972.
Linda Coffee in 1972. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Some background: McCorvey was a Texas resident who sought to obtain an abortion. Texas law prohibited abortions except to save the pregnant mother’s life. McCorvey was pregnant when she became the lead plaintiff in the case. She gave up the baby for adoption.

McCorvey has since come forward and spoken against abortion. In 1997, McCorvey started Roe No More, an anti-abortion outreach organization that was dissolved in 2008. McCorvey died on February 18, 2017. In the 2020 documentary “AKA Jane Roe,” prior to her death in 2017, McCorvey told the film’s director that she hadn’t changed her mind about abortion but became an anti-abortion activist because she was being paid.

3:04 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

House Republicans cheer abortion ruling and vow to keep fighting

From CNN's Melanie Zanona

Dozens of House Republicans gathered for a news conference Friday to celebrate the Supreme Court decision eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion.

With women lawmakers at the front of the stage, they hailed the ruling overturning Roe v Wade as a victory for the pro-life moment and vowed to keep fighting for anti-abortion causes. 

“Today's historic Supreme Court decision is a victory for the sanctity of life. It will save countless innocent children. House Republicans are incredibly grateful for the pro-life movement’s tireless efforts for decades, leading to this day to give a voice to the voiceless and protect our most vulnerable unborn babies,” said House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik. “As a new mom, I know there is nothing more extraordinary than the miracle of life. Hearing Sam's heartbeat for the first time – I’m gonna cry – was the greatest blessing and gift for our family.”

“Hallelujah. I woke up this morning praying for this,” said freshman Rep. Mayra Flores, who was just sworn in this week and also delivered remarks in Spanish. “If we want to see real change in bringing crime down, we need to raise a generation to respect life in the womb.”

“This is certainly a day that pro-lifers have been waiting for for 49 years,” said Rep. Michelle Fischbach.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the House Energy and Committee, railed against a House-passed bill to codify Roe and other Democratic policies, accusing Democrats of “forcing an extreme agenda on America.”

Rep. Chris Smith, one of the leading anti-abortion voices in the GOP who is the sponsor of a 20-week nationwide abortion ban, called it a “brand new opportunity to defend the weakest and most vulnerable from the violence of abortion.”

“While this is a major step forward … we’re in an area where we've got to fight even harder to defend these innocent children,” Smith said.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy called for a “peaceful reaction” to the ruling and said the Department of Justice “must step up to protect our justices, their family, churches and pro-life pregnancy centers from unprovoked violence.”

When asked by CNN about what bills he would put on the floor if the GOP recaptures the majority, McCarthy did not commit to putting any specific pieces of anti-abortion legislation on the House floor.

“We will continue to look wherever we can go to save as many lives as possible,” McCarthy said. 

But after the presser, Rep. Ann Wagner told CNN that she has reassurance that one of the very first bills a GOP-led House would vote on is her “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”, which requires medical care to be given to an infant that survives an attempted abortion, even though medical care would already be required under such a scenario.

2:52 p.m. ET, June 24, 2022

Harris will address Roe decision in upcoming remarks

From CNN's Jasmine Wright

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on June 2, in Washington, DC.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on June 2, in Washington, DC. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Vice President Kamala Harris will address the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade in remarks Friday in Illinois, ahead of scheduled remarks on maternal health.

A White House official said Harris watched President Biden’s speech from a classroom at the CW Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield, Illinois. 

“She was joined by Senator Durbin, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson, and staff,” the official added in a statement to reporters traveling.

“The Vice President did not go on a scheduled tour at the YMCA. She is conferring with staff and will address the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade while at the YMCA,” the official added.