Abortion rights are at a critical standstill this week. On Monday night, a Roe v. Wade draft opinion from Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. leaked per Politico, where Alito called for the overruling of the decision that holds women’s federal constitutional right to abortions. According to CNN, the five Justices who consist of the majority overruling Roe include Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote in the draft. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
According to The New York Times, the decision will not be finalized for an additional month or longer, but will have a massive affect on reproductive rights in individual states. Almost half of the United States are expected to ban abortions – specifically states in the South and Midwest regions – which may lead to a higher rate of illegal and dangerous abortions, notably for underprivileged women who are unable to travel for legal abortions.
Upon the news being leaked, abortion rights protesters flocked to the Supreme Court on Monday evening.
“The American people have the right to act through their elected officials to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, shared in a statement.
President Joe Biden – who supports abortion rights – also gave a statement on the leaked draft.
“We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” he said. If Roe is overturned, he added, it will be up to voters and lawmakers to “protect a woman’s right to choose.”
In January 1973, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Roe v. Wade, which determined the right to an abortion under the United States constitution.
Here’s how people are responding to the decision:
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