Roe vs Wade: Biden declares 'sad day' amid landmark abortion ban ruling backlash

'America's political chasm has just grown deeper': Robert Moore reports on the reactions from both sides of the abortion debate after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade

It was "a sad day" for America, US President Joe Biden said, after the Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling which established a nationwide right to safe and legal abortion.

It is now believed 26 states are either certain or likely to make moves to ban abortion outright, with clinics in some states having already stopped performing terminations on Friday after the decision.

While crowds of anti-abortion campaigners outside the Supreme Court cheered at the outcome, chanting 'Goodbye Roe,' the president declared the move a "tragic error" and "a realisation of an extreme ideology."

"This landmark case protected woman's right to choose, her right to make intensely personal decisions with her doctor, free from the interference of politics," he said from the White House.

Mr Biden added that without the protection of Roe, "the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk."

The president blamed his predecessor Donald Trump for the court's decision, since Mr Trump appointed the three justices who made the decision possible.

Former president Donald Trump took credit for the Supreme Court's decision. Credit: AP

Mr Trump took credit for the ruling himself, calling it "the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation," in a statement.

The former president said the ruling "was only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court."

House Republicans and anti-abortion activists joined Mr Trump in hailing the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the right to an abortion.

Representative Elise Stefanik labelled it a "victory for the sanctity of life." "It will save countless innocent children," she added. The Vatican's Academy for Life also praised the decision.

“Millions of Americans have spent half a century praying, marching and working toward today’s historic victories for the rule of law and for innocent life,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an architect of efforts to tilt the Supreme Court to the right.

Pro-life activist falls to the floor in tears after the decision to overturn the ruling is announced

Barack Obama, another former president, tweeted that the ruling "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."

"For more than a month, we’ve known this day was coming - but that doesn’t make it any less devastating," he added.

Mr Obama's wife and former first lady, Michelle Obama, shared her husband's sentiments, saying she was "heartbroken" in a statement posted on social media.

"I am heartbroken that we may now be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of the land - a time when women risked losing their lives getting illegal abortions," she said.

Barack and Michelle Obama were 'devastated' by the court's decision. Credit: AP

But Mrs Obama urged the young people who would 'bear the burden' of the decision not to give up on fighting for their values.

"I know this is not the future you chose for your generation - but if you give up now, you will inherit a country that does not resemble you or any of the values you believe in," she added.

Vice President Kamala Harris, said the ruling was "the first time in the history of our nation that a constitutional right has been taken from the people of America."

She added: "millions of women in America will go to bed tonight without access to the health care and reproductive care that they had this morning, without access to the same health care or reproductive health care that their mothers and grandmothers had for 50 years."

The vice president said 'millions of women' would go to bed on Friday without access to the reproductive care they had that morning. Credit: AP

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, a vocal supporter of abortion rights, responded angrily to the decision, describing it as "extremism to the nth degree."

Ms Pelosi went on to say that overturning Roe was "an evisceration of Americans' rights" and a "slap in the face of women."

Speaking at the US Capitol, she warned: "Republicans are plotting a nationwide abortion ban. They cannot be allowed to have a majority in the Congress to do that."

'Slap in the face of women': Nancy Pelosi slams the Supreme Court's ruling

Meanwhile, leaders from countries around the world have also responded to the ruling.

Boris Johnson said the move was a “big step backwards", adding he had "always believed in a woman’s right to choose."

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that it was "one of the darkest days for women’s rights in my lifetime."

She warned the decision would have far-reaching consequences, emboldening anti-abortion and anti-women forces in other countries too."

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Labour leader Keir Starmer also made his thoughts on the matter known, tweeting that the decision was a "massive setback for women's rights" in the US.

"The right of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies is a fundamental human right," he said.

This was echoed by French President Macron, who called abortion "a fundamental right for all women" that "must be protected."

Famous faces from the entertainment world also came out to slam the decision.

Phoebe Bridgers, performing at Glastonbury on Friday, said she was having the "sh***iest day," thanks to "all these irrelevant old motherf****** trying to tell us what to do with our f****** bodies."

She then lead a chant of "f*** the Supreme Court."

Phoebe Bridgers said she had abortion last year. Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP

Bridgers revealed last month she had an abortion, when a draft opinion was leaked indicating the court was preparing to take the momentous step to overturn Roe.

“I had an abortion in October of last year while I was on tour," she tweeted at the time.

“I went to planned parenthood where they gave me the abortion pill. It was easy. Everyone deserves that kind of access.”

Popstar Taylor Swift said she was "absolutely terrified that this is where we are - that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that."

Reality star Kim Kardashian also spoke out, posting, “In America, guns have more rights than women,” on her Instagram story.

Some companies are showing their support to their US-based employees who could be affected by new bans by offering to pay their travel expenses if they need to travel to another state for an abortion.

Disney told its employees on Friday that it would cover their costs if they needed to travel to obtain a termination.

A number of companies are offering similar support, including Meta, Yelp, Microsoft, Apple and Tesla.

Not all reactions to Friday's warning were negative, however.

The Vatican praised the court's decision, with the Pontifical Academy for Life saying: “The fact that a large country with a long democratic tradition has changed its position on this issue also challenges the whole world."

Two young women with contrasting perspectives on abortion share their views

Evangeline Avaffy, of anti-abortion group Created Equal, called the decision "a surreal moment."

"I didn't believe it was happening, and then, after it sunk in, I just had tears streaming down my face. Just tears of, you know, relief, joy," she said.

Lexie Hall, from the same group, said she was outside a Planned Parenthood branch "offering resources to the women, going inside, telling them that they don't have to do this and that we are there for them."