Protests are continuing across the United States after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to an abortion. The conservative court ruled 6 to 3 on Friday in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Republican-backed Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while voting 5 to 4 to overturn Roe. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts supported upholding the Mississippi law but not overturning Roe. Nine states have already banned abortion since Friday, and 17 more states are expected to do so soon. In his majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” In their dissent, the court’s three liberal justices wrote, “With sorrow—for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection—we dissent.” Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas sided with the majority but argued in a concurring opinion that other key landmark rulings establishing gay rights and the right to contraception should also be overturned. At a protest Friday outside the Supreme Court, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters denounced the ruling.
Rep. Maxine Waters: “You see this turnout here? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Women are going to control their bodies no matter how they try and stop us. The hell with the Supreme Court. We will defy them. Women will be in control of their bodies. And if they think Black women are intimidated or afraid, they got another thought coming. Black women will be out in droves. We will be out by the thousands. We will be out by the millions. We are going to make sure we fight for the right to control our own bodies.”
President Biden also denounced the court’s ruling and vowed to protect access to abortion pills and contraception. Friday’s ruling has also led to growing calls for the Supreme Court to be expanded. Backers of the proposal include Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is also urging Biden to open health clinics to provide abortions on federal land in states that ban abortion. The Supreme Court’s ruling comes just four months before the 2022 midterm elections. Former President Donald Trump has taken personal credit for the ruling by appointing three of the justices who overturned Roe, but Rolling Stone reports Trump is privately concerned the Republican Party’s push to ban abortion could backfire at the polls. His former vice president, Mike Pence, is calling for a nationwide abortion ban. On Saturday, Trump appeared at a rally with Republican Congressmember Mary Miller of Illinois, who received cheers after saying Friday’s ruling was a “historic victory for white life.”
Rep. Mary Miller: “President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”
President Biden has signed a new bipartisan gun safety law — the first approved by Congress in almost 30 years. On Friday, the House passed the bill by a vote of 234 to 193. Fourteen Republicans joined with the Democratic majority. Biden spoke on Saturday.
President Joe Biden: “While this bill doesn’t do everything I want, it does include actions I have long called for that are going to save lives. It funds crisis intervention, including red flag laws. It keeps guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and to others. And it finally closes what is known as the boyfriend loophole. So if you assault your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can’t buy a gun or own a gun.”
While gun control groups praised lawmakers for finding a bipartisan solution, the final law does not include a number of initiatives that were included in a separate bill recently approved by House Democrats which aimed to ban the sale of large-capacity magazines and raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon from 18 to 21.
Russian forces have fully taken over the city of Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine after Ukrainian troops withdrew. As much as 90% of the city is destroyed after months of fighting. Severodonetsk is seen as Russia’s biggest battlefield victory since the fall of Mariupol in May. Over the weekend, Russian forces fired missiles across Ukraine, including one strike in Kyiv that hit a nine-story apartment building, killing at least one person. In other developments, The New York Times has confirmed CIA personnel and NATO commandos are secretly operating inside Ukraine, sharing U.S. battleground intelligence to help in the fight against Russia. Meanwhile, Russia has announced it will soon send nuclear-capable missiles to Belarus.
President Biden and other world leaders are in Germany for a meeting of the G7 to discuss ways to counter both Russia and China. The G7 leaders are working on a plan to ban the import of Russian gold, while also looking at ways to limit the price of oil sold by Russia. This comes as Russia defaulted on its foreign debt Sunday for the first time since 1918. At the G7 summit, leaders also announced a plan to raise $600 billion to help finance overseas infrastructure projects in an attempt to counter China’s Belt and Road project.
At least 23 people seeking refuge in Europe have died at a border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Many were beaten by Moroccan forces. Others died in a stampede. One NGO group put the death toll at at least 37. The deaths occurred when as many 2,000 asylum seekers attempted to cross from Morocco into Spain on Friday morning. Video shows hundreds of people lying on the ground, many motionless, near the border fence as Moroccan security forces looked on. The Moroccan Human Rights Association said the bodies of both the injured and the dead were left on the ground for hours and that Moroccan forces buried people without identifying them or conducting autopsies to determine the cause of death.
The mass deaths at the Spanish border come just days before NATO holds a summit in Madrid. Spain has been pushing NATO to focus not just on its eastern border with Russia, but also its southern border. Over the weekend, thousands gathered in Madrid to oppose increased military spending by NATO members, while calling for U.S. troops to withdraw from Europe.
The United States has released Asadullah Haroon Gul, an Afghan man who was jailed at Guantánamo Bay for 15 years without trial. Last year, a federal court ruled his detention was illegal and ordered his release. According to the group Reprieve, Gul suffered severe physical and psychological torture during his stay at Guantánamo, including being beaten, hung by his wrists and deprived of food and water.
Authorities in India have detained the prominent Indian human rights defender Teesta Setalvad, who has spent years trying to hold Prime Minister Narendra Modi accountable for his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots that left more than 1,000 dead in Gujarat, where Modi was chief minister. Her arrest came a day after India’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that cleared Modi of wrongdoing. Amnesty International denounced the arrest of Teesta Setalvad, saying it sends a chilling message to civil society in India.
Funerals have been held in Brazil for British journalist Dom Phillips and the Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, who were recently murdered in a remote area of the Brazilian Amazon while investigating threats to isolated tribes. On Friday, Bruno Pereira was buried after a ceremony where dozens of Indigenous men and women paid their respects to the 41-year-old father of three. This is Marcos Xukuru, an Indigenous leader in Brazil.
Marcos Xukuru: “So, here in Pernambuco, we could not, in any way, miss this day. We came here to honor our warrior, the warrior Bruno, who today becomes a martyr for all of us, for the Indigenous cause, for popular causes, for those who fight in defense of life! … How many other leaders were killed? How many of our warriors were murdered because of the struggle for territory and didn’t have that visibility? Today it is important to emphasize that it was not just Dom and Bruno, but many others, other Indigenous chiefs, other Indigenous leaders, who have been murdered.”
On Sunday, the family of Dom Phillips held a funeral near Rio de Janeiro. His coffin was draped in the flags of Brazil and the United Kingdom. His sister Sian Phillips spoke outside the chapel where the funeral was held.
Sian Phillips: “He was killed because he tried to tell the world what was happening to the rainforest and its inhabitants. His mission clashed with the interests of individuals who are determined to exploit the Amazon rainforest regardless of the destructive impact of their illegal activities.”
LGBTQ+ groups took to the streets over the weekend for Pride events that were overshadowed by the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down abortion rights under Roe v. Wade. Here in New York, Pride protesters warned the Supreme Court appears poised to roll back other hard-fought gains, including the rights to marriage, contraception and non-heterosexual sexual intimacy.
Jolene Marchetti: “With the conservative majority in the judicial system, you know, you do say, 'Is gay marriage next?' That’s very — is it next? Is trans right next? Like, at what point — like, I’m trans. When am I no longer going to be able to exist in this country as a fully realized person? Or am I going to have to hide back in the closet?”
Officials in Oslo, Norway, canceled Pride events over the weekend after a gunman went on a rampage at a gay bar early Saturday morning. Two people were killed and 10 others seriously injured by gunfire in the assault. Norwegian police arrested a suspect they described as a radicalized Islamist with a history of mental illness. Despite the violence, thousands marched in the streets just hours after the attack, chanting, “We’re here, we’re queer, we won’t disappear.” This is Norway’s prime minister.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre: “We should have celebrated love. We should have colored the streets in the colors of the rainbow. We should have displayed our community and our freedom. Instead, we are filled with grief. Norway is again hit by a brutal attack.”
A Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas has struck down a Biden administration rule that prioritized the arrest of undocumented immigrants considered to be a threat to public safety and national security. After Friday’s ruling by Judge Drew Tipton, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would no longer set priorities for its enforcement actions, leaving some 11 million undocumented immigrants more vulnerable to deportation. The Department of Homeland Security says it will appeal the ruling.