JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Supreme Court on Friday ended constitutional protections for abortion that had stood in America for nearly a half-century.
The decision by the court’s conservative majority overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling and is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
More than 90% of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and more than half are now done with pills, not surgery, according to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
The Biden administration and other advocates of abortion rights have warned that a decision overturning Roe also would threaten other high court decisions in favor of gay rights and even potentially, contraception.
“I’m upset about it. A lot of people are upset about it and I think we should take the time to be heard because it’s wrong,” said Jacksonville resident Michelle S., who is pro-abortion rights.
“A woman doesn’t owe anyone a reason why they get an abortion,” resident Katarina Bouton said. “There is no reason owed as to why they took a Plan B. If a woman is not ready to have a child then she should not be forced to have that child.”
“One thing that’s important when making a sexual decision is knowing your partner’s intentions and having an established plan if something were to happen like a slip-up. For a lot of people, Plan B is that plan. The morning-after pill,” one man, who asked not to be identified, told us.
The residents we spoke with Friday night feared the Supreme Court ruling could just be the beginning.
So, what does the decision mean for birth control and emergency contraception, also called the morning-after pill?
What you need to know about birth control, Plan B and emergency contraception:
Birth control, IUDs and the morning-after pill (Plan B) — as of now — are still legal everywhere in the United States.
With that being said, there are reports that some anti-abortion groups and conservative lawmakers have begun planning to attempt to ban emergency contraception that can be used within 72 hours of intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
“... anti-abortion lawmakers are turning their attention to the next target: birth control — in particular, emergency contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs),” a report stated.
A leading Republican state legislator in Idaho suggested in May that he would be open to “holding hearings on banning emergency birth control, NBC News reported. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., recently denounced Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 decision that allowed married couples to buy birth control.
While birth control remains legal, 12 states allow some health care providers to refuse to provide services related to contraception.
The Supreme Court decision that overruled Roe v. Wade does not indicate that the court would revisit past decisions about birth control.
Gov. DeSantis said Florida ‘will work to expand’ abortion restrictions
In Florida, for the second year in a row, Gov. DeSantis vetoed $2 million meant to help low-income people access long-acting birth control. The decision came weeks after the leaked Supreme Court opinion and a month before Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban went into effect. Researchers found long-acting reversible contraception to be far more effective than other birth control methods, such as pills.
After Friday’s decision, DeSantis vowed that his state “will work to expand” its abortion restrictions.
President Biden also spoke about the decision, saying: