(WHTM) — With the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade, reversing decades of precedent, emotions are flowing on both sides of this issue.
Planned Parenthood and the YWCA helped organize demonstrations in the Midstate, where hundreds of people expressed shock and anger over the court ending the constitutional right to abortion.
“It is shocking to imagine us turning the clock back,” Stacie Blake, CEO of YWCA Lancaster, said.
Others are celebrating the ruling.
“Roe vs. Wade is bad policy and it’s right that it was reversed,” Maria Gallagher, Legislative Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, said.
No matter what side of the issue people are on, the decision is a major step.
“You could aptly characterize this as a judicial earthquake,” John E. Jones III, a former federal judge and Dickinson College president, said.
John said it is extremely rare for the Supreme Court to reverse an earlier ruling.
“To really blow up precedent the way the case did today is something that some people don’t see in their lifetime,” he said.
Jones said the majority opinion took issue with a constitutional right to abortion.
“Justice [Samuel] Alito basically writes that Roe was wrongly decided from its inception,” he said.
Jones said the court acknowledges people have rights not explicitly stated in the Constitution, but the justices argued ending a pregnancy isn’t one of them.
“That’s too much of a reach,” Jones said.
Justice Clarence Thomas went even further, writing in his concurring opinion the court should also reconsider cases legalizing same-sex marriage and expanding access to birth control.
“If it’s not in the text of the Constitution…then you don’t have that right,” Jones said of Thomas’ legal philosophy.
Jones does not think Thomas’ opinion will gain traction with other justices, but the reversal of Roe v. Wades still raises some concerns.
“All the court has is its credibility,” Jones said.
He is worried the public could lose faith in the court and see it as simply a partisan institution. Jones said the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in May already damaged the court’s status.
“That is tough for the public to absorb,” he said. “Courts are not supposed to be tethered to political ideals or particular campaigns.”