Justice Thomas Shares Startling Response Following The Overturning Of Roe V. Wade

In a historic 6-3 vote, Row v. Wade was overturned by the conservative majority Supreme Court following a decision on reproductive rights in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health case. While details on what this means for many women and anyone with a uterus in the United States are still unfolding, conservative judges have already begun to set their sights on overturning other Supreme Court rulings that provide protection to people's inalienable rights (via Insider).

In Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion, he wrote that Roe v. Wade was "exceptionally weak" and that it has had "damaging consequences" since it was passed in 1973 (via CNN). While conservatives largely agree with this standpoint, liberals and progressives believe that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade puts many more lives at risk. New York City Mayor Eric Adams tweeted, "Reproductive care is health care. Abortion is health care. Today's decision puts lives at risk." Nancy Pelosi also spoke out against the ruling and warned of impending decisions yet to come by conservatives, stating, "With Roe now out of their way, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom."

With the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, it seems conservatives are wasting no time to implement further restrictions. According to Insider, Justice Clarence Thomas wants to take it a step further.

How Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell are all at risk to be overturned

In his opinion piece supporting the recent overturning, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, "In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell." According to Investopedia, due process is the "requirement that legal matters be resolved according to established rules and principles, and that individuals be treated fairly." Essentially, the protection of people's inalienable rights would subsequently be up for reconsideration in matters involving further reproductive healthcare and extending all the way to same-sex couples.

Griswold v. Connecticut was a 1965 Supreme Court case deciding that people have a right to "privacy granted by the Bill of Rights that protects against state restrictions on contraception" (via Fox 13 News). Overturning this case would give states the ability to deny people birth control and subsequent reproductive healthcare.

The conservatives' intent to regulate and overturn does not stop at reproductive rights. LGBTQ+ Americans are facing threats to their rights to be married — and even be in a relationship. Lawrence v. Texas was a Supreme Court ruling in 2003 that decided it was a violation of the Due Process Clause to incriminate same-sex relationships. In 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges granted same-sex marriage protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. All three of these cases are being directly targeted as the next to be overturned by the conservative majority, as stated directly in Justice Thomas' opinion.

Subsequently, many women, people with uteruses, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are worried about the Supreme Court's next steps.

Anti-abortion groups are calling this 'just the beginning'

A large anti-abortion organization that has fought hard to abolish women's access to abortions and reproductive care, March For Life Action's president, Jeanne Mancini, tweeted on Friday that overturning Roe v. Wade is "just the beginning of our work to advance policies that protect life." Activists like Michele Goodwin will argue that this decision does not prioritize or protect the lives of the many women, transgender people, and non-binary people that rely on equal access to reproductive healthcare. Goodwin wrote that this decision will bring an age of "involuntary servitude" in the United States because people with unplanned pregnancies will be forced to give birth (via BBC). As a survivor of sexual abuse, Goodwin has stated in her New York Times article that having an abortion saved her life. The conversation between the anti-abortion and pro-abortion rights mindsets will only continue and fuel further decisions made at the federal and state level.

With Justice Clarence Thomas' comments, many worry that this is only the beginning of a major attack against people's inalienable rights led by conservatives. Nancy Pelosi's statement Friday morning that "GOP extremists are even threatening to criminalize contraception, as well as in-vitro fertilization and post-miscarriage care." While the specifics are still up in the air as this breaking news unfolds, it is clear that conservatives intend to continue on this path of overturning progressive wins.