The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision that established a constitutional right to abortion in the nation nearly 50 years ago.
"Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion. "Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences."
"It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives," the conservative suggested.
The court's three liberal justices dissented, saying that with Friday's ruling, "many millions of American women" have lost a fundamental constitutional protection.
The ruling came after the Supreme Court had considered an appeal case involving a Mississippi law banning all abortions over 15 weeks gestational age except in certain circumstances.
Crowds on both sides of abortion rights are gathering near the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill with the presence of riot police.
"Protesters are allowed to peacefully demonstrate, however they must follow the officer's instructions so that everyone stays safe," the Capitol Police tweeted.
With Roe falling, more than two dozen states in the United States - primarily in the south and midwest - are expected to tighten abortion access, with "trigger bans" set to take effect automatically.
In a response, U.S. President Joe Biden said it's "a sad day" for the nation and the Supreme Court, which is "literally taking America back 150 years."
"Now with Roe gone, let's be very clear: the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk," Biden added.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service