In the United States, clinics have already closed after the Supreme Court ruling overturned women’s right to abortion.
Eight states with so-called trigger laws allowing immediate abortion bans, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia, stopped providing abortions after Friday’s decision.
About half the states are expected to ban abortion after the court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade ruling.
President Joe Biden said it was a “sad day for the court and for the country” and said the ruling was a “tragic mistake”.
At an abortion clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas, the doors were shut as soon as the court’s opinion was known.
That’s what sister Ashli Hunt told the BBC: “No matter how much we prepare for bad news, when it finally comes, it hits them hard. Having to call these patients and tell them that Roe v Wade has been tipped is heartbreaking.”
The Women’s Health Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, also closed its doors and staff were sent home, and clinics in Texas were also closed.
The decision, welcomed by the country’s religious conservatives, has sparked protests in cities across the country, including a demonstration outside the barricaded Supreme Court.
Some shouted, “The Supreme Court is illegitimate,” while waves of others, wearing red shirts that read “The Pro-Life Generation Votes,” partied, danced and waved their arms in the air.
Thousands chanted “We will rise up” in Washington Square in New York. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Arizona, police fired tear gas at protesters, and in Los Angeles, protesters temporarily blocked traffic on a freeway.
The Supreme Court’s decision currently goes against public opinion in the country, where a majority of Americans support keeping the Roe v Wade decision in place.
A recent Pew poll found that 61 percent of adults think abortion should always or most of the time be legal, compared to 37 percent who think it should always or most of the time be illegal.
An analysis by Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion services in the US, says around 36 million women in their state will lose access to abortion.
Former President Donald Trump was quick to acknowledge the Supreme Court ruling, calling it “the biggest WIN to LIFE in a generation.”
He said the verdicts and others “were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and confirming three highly respected and strong constitutional lawyers before the United States Supreme Court.” It was a great honor for me to do this!”
Three Trump appointees voted to abolish Roe v Wade on Friday and they were Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
The verdict came more than a month after the leak of a draft opinion by Judge Samuel Alito showing the court was ready to overturn the verdict.
Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri are among 13 states, mostly in the South and Midwest, that already have laws banning abortion in the event Roe v Wade is repealed.
Another half-dozen states have near-total bans after six weeks of pregnancy, or bans before many women know they’re pregnant.
In about a half-dozen other states, including West Virginia and Wisconsin, the battle will be over dormant abortion bans enacted before Roe v Wade ruled in 1973, or new proposals to severely restrict abortion services.
Additional reporting by agencies