Roe v Wade: Who are the US Supreme Court justices and what did they say about abortion and other civil rights?

The constitutional right to choose abortion for tens of millions of women in America has been overturned by a group of nine people in Washington DC.

Friday's historic ruling by the US Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling known as Roe v Wade and sends shockwaves through the country, with many states already having laws in place ready to effectively ban abortion.

It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favoured preserving Roe, according to opinion polls, though some crowds also gathered outside the building on Friday to celebrate the decision.

Obama and Trump react to Supreme Court ruling - Roe v Wade live updates

It also throws the power of the court into sharp focus, an issue that has been in the spotlight in recent years after former president Donald Trump was able to profoundly alter its political leanings with three appointments.

Supreme Court justices are picked by the president to lifetime appointments, meaning that the choice of a single member - let alone three in just over three years - can have consequences for decades to come.

So who are the nine members of the US Supreme Court, and what did they say in today's 5-4 ruling?

Justice Samuel Alito: appointed by Republican George W Bush in 2006. Voted to overturn Roe.

It was Justice Samuel Alito who delivered the opinion of the court.

"Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views," he says in his opening statement.

He wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

"We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives."

Read more: Roe v Wade overturned - what happens now?

Justice Clarence Thomas: appointed by Republican George HW Bush in 1991. Voted to overturn Roe.

One of those joining Alito was Justice Clarence Thomas.

He is regarded by some to be the most conservative member of the court, and first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

In his separate opinion piece, he explicitly called on his colleagues to put the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage, gay sex and even contraception cases on the table.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh: appointed by Republican Donald Trump in 2018. Voted to overturn Roe.

Justice Kavanaugh, who faced an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations, said in the ruling that the US Constitution "neither outlaws abortion nor legalises abortion".

He claimed the court's decision does not outlaw abortion, and instead "leaves the question of abortion for the people and their elected representatives in the democratic process".

Justices Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett: appointed by Republican Donald Trump in 2017 and 2020. Voted to overturn Roe.

Two more Trump appointees, two more votes to overturn Roe.

Justice Neil Gorsuch was appointed in the early days of the Trump administration, with Barack Obama's pick Merrick Garland having been denied a hearing on the rationale that it was an election year.

That did not stop Justice Amy Coney Barrett's appointment - Mr Trump's third - in October 2020, just weeks before the US election, however.

Their views on today's ruling - both to overturn Roe - were included as part of Alito's submissions.

Chief Justice John Roberts: appointed by Republican George W Bush in 2005. Concurring in judgement.

Serving as chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts was "concurring in judgement" but hit out at the decision, which he said was too broad.

In his opinion piece he said he would have stopped short of ending the abortion right, noting that he would have upheld the Mississippi law at the heart of the case, a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, and said no more.

Therefore, he says, he chose to "concur only in the judgment".

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan: appointed by Democrat Bill Clinton (Breyer) in 1994 and Democrat Barack Obama in 2009 and 2010. Voted to keep Roe.

The liberal wing of the Supreme Court is diminished, and the consequences were clear on Friday.

"With sorrow - for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection -we dissent," they wrote.

They said that in overturning Roe and Casey, the court "betrays its guiding principles".

The effect of the ruling, they argued, means: "A state can thus transform what, when freely undertaken, is a wonder into what, when forced, may be a nightmare."