Politicians and organizations are reacting to an unprecedented leaked draft opinion that suggests the US Supreme Court may be on the verge of overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion across the country nearly 50 years ago.
While some conservatives were quick to praise the opinion, many liberals criticized it, and people on both sides criticized the extraordinary violation of the nation’s highest court’s covert deliberation process.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a joint statement Monday night, warning, “If the report is Exactly, the Supreme Court is prepared to inflict the greatest restriction of rights”. in the last fifty years, not just in women but in all Americans.” However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-K for California, had not commented as of Tuesday morning.
The 98-page document, obtained by Politico and posted online Monday night, was dated February 10, 2022, and labeled a “first draft” of the “court opinion” in a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. , challenging Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
Politico said it received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with court proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details that support the document’s authenticity.” ABC News has not independently confirmed the draft. A Supreme Court spokeswoman declined to comment.
The draft opinion, apparently written by Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., appears to show that the court’s conservative majority voted to overturn the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, as well as a later decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That 1992 case upheld Roe’s conclusion of a constitutional right to abortion services, but allowed states to place some restrictions on the controversial practice. The immediate impact of the ruling as written would be to end the federally guaranteed abortion right and effectively allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban it altogether, according to Politico.
“Roe was terribly wrong from the start,” Alito seemed to write in the draft opinion.
“We hold that Roe and Casey should be overruled,” he added. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.”
In the wake of the Politico report and the rare leak, elected officials on both sides of the aisle are speaking out.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., along with several congressional Democrats, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Patty Murray, D-Washington , as well as Representatives Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., asked Congress to codify Roe v. Wade as law, even if it meant removing stonewalling.
Democratic governors from California to Maine have pledged to protect abortion rights in their respective states.
While the House Pro-Life Caucus co-chairs had not commented as of Tuesday morning, House Pro-Choice Caucus leaders Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Co.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), issued a joint statement, saying: “Such a move would be an inconceivable setback for a fundamental right and would have devastating impacts throughout the country.”
Some Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.), condemned the leak as an attempt to “intimidate” the court, while others, as Representatives Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), praised the draft opinion.
Republican governors in Alabama, Arkansas, and South Dakota expressed hope that Roe v. Wade is actually nullified.
Meanwhile, the anti-abortion organizations March for Life and the Susan B Anthony List will not comment until the final decision is announced; though the latter noted that he would “wholeheartedly applaud the decision” if the leaked draft opinion were the final opinion.
Abortion rights organizations Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America stressed that the leaked draft opinion is “not final” and that “abortion remains legal.”