SAN DIEGO – On what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, leaders across the nation reflected on the decision’s consequential overturning by the Supreme Court last year.

“For nearly 50 years, Americans relied on the rights that Roe protected,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a Florida address Sunday night commemorating the anniversary.

“We speak of the Roe decision in the past tense, because last June the United States Supreme Court took away that constitutional right – a fundamental right, a basic freedom – from the people of America,” Harris continued.

Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two decisions that affirmed a woman’s right to access abortion services, were overturned by the Supreme Court last June in the landmark case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The case concerned the constitutionality of a 2018 Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of a pregnancy.

The Court ultimately overruled earlier court decisions blocking the law in a six-three decision along ideological lines. Of the justices who voted in the majority, five voted to completely overturn both Roe and Casey, returning the decision about whether or not abortion is legal back into the hands of state governments.

The decision was celebrated by anti-abortion activists over Roe’s anniversary weekend, including a march across Washington, D.C. organized by the group “March for Life.” 

Those in-favor of the Supreme Court’s move in Dobbs argue that the decision rectified an overreach by the court in its earlier interpretation of the healthcare option as a constitutional right for pregnant people.

“The decision is hugely significant, because it clarifies that what it’s going to allow now,” Brian Johnston, chairman of the CA Pro-life Council, said to FOX 5. “What it did was it apologized for stepping into making the laws, because that’s what Roe v. Wade did.”

Thousands of abortion supporters, on the other hand, mourned the loss of Roe as a lifesaving healthcare measure. 

“I want to make one thing clear: there is no going quietly when it comes to our bodies and freedoms,” San Diego Rep. Sara Jacobs said in a tweet Sunday. “We will continue channeling our grief into action.”

Pro-abortion leaders protested that the Roe decision was a necessary safeguard to protect against government involvement in medical decisions made between a doctor and patient.

“We’re talking about quality healthcare,” National Coalition on Black Civic Participation said to FOX 5. “(We want to) be able to have control over our bodies… our bodily autonomy.”

Since the Dobbs decision, 12 states have enacted total bans on abortion, while four others have implemented laws that prohibit abortion past a certain point in pregnancy. 

Other states have taken action to protect abortion rights, like California that passed a ballot measure last year adding explicit protections for reproductive freedom to the state constitution. 

“Today is a solemn reminder that the constitutional rights we have known for decades are at risk like never before,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement Sunday. “But let me be clear: California will continue to protect reproductive care and expand access.” 

Federal leaders have also sought initiatives to protect abortion rights since the Dobbs decision last June, as Republicans in Congress have introduced bills to implement a nationwide ban on the procedure.

In one such measure introduced by a memorandum Sunday, President Joe Biden directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Attorney General to explore options for the expansion of access to an FDA-approved medication for terminating pregnancies up to 10 weeks.

“(Members of) our administration are now directed, as of the President’s order, to identify barriers to access to prescription medication and to recommend actions to make sure that doctors can legally prescribe, that pharmacies can dispense, and that women can secure safe and effective medication,” Vice President Harris said at the Florida rally Sunday.

“The right of every woman in every state in this country to make decisions about her own body is on the line,” she continued.  “I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: How dare they?”