According to a leaked Supreme Court document, millions of women in the United States may soon lose their legal right to abortion. According to the document, which was published by Politico, the country’s highest court is poised to overturn the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
If the Supreme Court overturns the Roe v Wade decision, individual states will be able to prohibit abortion if they so desire. Abortion is expected to be prohibited in nearly half of the United States at that point.
The justices of the Supreme Court are expected to issue a decision in late June or early July. The Supreme Court is looking into Roe v Wade because Mississippi wants it overturned. That case was heard by the justices in December.
Thirteen states have already passed so-called trigger laws, which would prohibit abortion if Roe is overturned this summer. A number of others are likely to pass legislation quickly.
According to research from Planned Parenthood, a healthcare organization that provides abortions, 36 million women could lose access to abortions.
Anti-abortion organizations such as the Susan B. Anthony List applauded the news. “If Roe is indeed overturned, our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children,” it said.
According to Politico, the leaked document, titled “1st Draft” appears to reflect the majority opinion of the court and was written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated within the court on February 10.
However, it is unclear whether this is a final opinion because justices have previously changed their minds during the drafting process. The Supreme Court and the White House have yet to issue a statement.
Its publication on Monday night sparked an immediate outcry from Democrats, as well as protests outside the court in Washington DC by both pro-choice and anti-abortion activists.
Leading Democratic politicians Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said jointly that if the report was correct, the Supreme Court was “on the verge of inflicting the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years.”
Consider for a moment that this draft opinion becomes law. Abortion would be illegal in 22 states in an instant due to existing statutes and “trigger” laws designed for such an occasion.
In the midst of an election year, the legality of the procedure would become a vicious political battleground. This is the significance of what is possibly happening in the Supreme Court.
Draft opinions, on the other hand, are just that: drafts. There have also been reports of justices changing their minds as the drafting process unfolds within the cloistered court chambers. All of that is destroyed by this unprecedented leak.