‘Attack on essential freedoms’: Barack Obama slams US Supreme Court order ending abortion rights

Former US President Barack Obama on Friday denounced the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalised abortion nationwide. He called it an attack on the “essential freedoms” experienced by millions of Americans.

“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,” tweeted Obama.

Obama further noted that across the US, states have moved to pass bills restricting abortion access.

In a joint statement with his wife Michelle, Obama said that “what Roe recognised is that the freedom enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution requires all of us to enjoy a sphere of our lives that isn’t subject to meddling from the state.”

The former president also said the decision is unlikely to significantly reduce abortions, which he noted have been going down over the past several decades as a result of better access to contraception and education.

Obama stressed that those without enough money, access to transportation and leave from work would be impacted the most.

The conservative-majority court ruled in a 6-3 decision to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which directly clashed with Roe.

The former Democratic president said Friday’s ruling “should serve as a powerful reminder of the central role the courts play in protecting our rights — and of the fact that elections have consequences.”

He also urged people to join the activists and act by joining local protests, volunteering and voting in the mid-terms on November 8.

“Because in the end, if we want judges who will protect all, and not just some, of our rights, then we’ve got to elect officials committed to doing the same,” he added.

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