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'Cruel' or a 'new beginning': Abortion decision sparks polarized reactions

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Supreme Court's abortion decision "cruel" and vowed to "keep fighting ferociously to enshrine Roe vs. Wade into law." File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1a6924dc4202d0930faf04ffc4f75237/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Supreme Court's abortion decision "cruel" and vowed to "keep fighting ferociously to enshrine Roe vs. Wade into law." File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court's official decision Friday overturning the 1973's Roe vs. Wade sparked emotional responses around the country.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the decision "outrageous and heart-wrenching" while former Vice President Mike Pence said it was a "new beginning for life."

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The Roe vs. Wade decision guaranteed a woman's right to obtain an abortion, but the new ruling disagreed with that decision, kicking abortion laws to individual states to make that decision.

The decision brought swift responses from abortion supporters and foes.

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"Today, the Republican-controlled Supreme Court has achieved the GOP's dark and extreme goal of ripping away women's right to make their own reproductive health decisions," Pelosi said in a statement. "With Roe now out of their way, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom.

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"While Republicans seek to punish and control women, Democrats will keep fighting ferociously to enshrine Roe vs. Wade into law. This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November."

Pence, who predicted the fall of Roe vs. Wade while in office, cheered the decision while signaling a new call for a nationwide ban on abortion.

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"Today, life won," Pence said on Twitter. "By overturning Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life and I commend the Justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions.

"Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will fight a 1931 Michigan abortion law to keep the procedure legal in the state in light of the decision.

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"This is devastating," Whitmer said of the ruling on Twitter. "Michigan's dangerous abortion ban could go back into effect -- making abortion a felony in Michigan. My pending lawsuit to protect abortion access is more urgent than ever. I will continue to fight like hell."

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Fierce abortion foe Rev. Franklin Graham, the CEO and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, called it the most significant Supreme Court ruling in ages.

"The United States Supreme Court just announced one of the most significant rulings in my lifetime -- officially voting to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision because it was 'egregiously wrong from the start,' as stated by Justice Samuel Alito," Graham said, according to Fox News.

"The radical left is calling for a 'night of rage,' pregnancy centers are already being vandalized and attacked, and our U.S. Supreme Court justices are being targeted with threats and intimidation."

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion of the case, in which Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett joined. Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh all filed concurring opinions.

"We hold that Roe and [Planned Parenthood vs. Casey] must be overruled," the opinion said, written by Alito. "The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely, the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

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"That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be "deeply rooted in this nation's history and tradition. ... The right to abortion does not fall within this category."

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan all dissented.

"With sorrow -- for this court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection -- we dissent," the liberal justices wrote.

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