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Explained: Why US citizens are protesting against Supreme Court order on abortion?

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The 1973 Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision struck down many US federal and state abortion laws.

Washington, May 03: Massive protests broke out outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. to protest the court's report stating, "We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled."

Protest in US over abortion law

A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico.

It's unclear if the draft represents the court's final word on the matter.

What is 1973 case Roe v. Wade

The 1973 Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws.

In January 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision in McCorvey's favor ruling that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides a "right to privacy" that protects a pregnant woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion. But it also ruled that this right is not absolute and must be balanced against governments' interests in protecting women's health and prenatal life.

The Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the three trimesters of pregnancy: during the first trimester, governments could not prohibit abortions at all; during the second trimester, governments could require reasonable health regulations; during the third trimester, abortions could be prohibited entirely so long as the laws contained exceptions for cases when they were necessary to save the life or health of the mother.

The Court classified the right to choose to have an abortion as "fundamental", which required courts to evaluate challenged abortion laws under the "strict scrutiny" standard, the highest level of judicial review in the United States.

The Court's ruling in Roe was criticized by some in the legal community, and some called the decision an example of judicial activism.

It was once again upheld in a 1992 ruling, but has lately been challenged by several Republican-led state legislatures.

What is the current abortion law in the US?

Abortion in the United States is legal, subject to balancing tests tying state regulation of abortion to the three trimesters of pregnancy, via the landmark 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the first abortion case to be taken to the Supreme Court.

Why are they protesting now?

The protesters believe that the Supreme Court reversal on abortion will violate the rights of women, and a political minority. They are undermining progress, and erasing the civil protections and rights so many have fought for over the last half century.

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