According to the leaked document, which was published by a news outlet named Politico, the Supreme Court of the United States favours overturning the landmark judgement of the Roe v Wade decision, which legalised abortion nationwide. If the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling, abortion could be prohibited in nearly half of the United States.
Its justices are expected to make a decision by the end of June or the beginning of July.
According to Politico, the leaked document, labelled “1st Draft,” appears to reflect the court’s majority opinion. It was written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated within the court in February.
However, it’s unclear whether it’s a final opinion because the justices have previously changed their minds during the drafting process. The White House and the Supreme Court are yet to respond or comment on it.
Its release on Monday night sparked an outcry from Democrats, as well as protests by pro-choice and anti-abortion activists outside the courthouse in Washington, DC. If the report is accurate, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said the Supreme Court is “poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years.”
Anti-abortion groups like Susan B. Anthony List, for example, was overjoyed by the news. “Our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children if Roe is overturned,” it said.
Mississippi is asking for Roe v Wade to be overturned, and with it, the legal right to abortion. The justices heard those cases in December.
Abortion could be made illegal in 22 states if the bill passes. Thirteen states have passed so-called trigger laws, which would make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
In the midst of an election year, the legality of the procedure would become a vicious political battleground. This is the significance of what might be going on in the Supreme Court right now.
However, draft opinions are just that: drafts. There have also been reports of justices changing their minds as the opinion-writing process takes place in the cloistered courtrooms. This unheard-of leak caused a short circuit.
The leaked document was published in its entirety by Politico, which quoted Justice Alito as saying, “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Its reasoning was woefully inadequate, and the decision had disastrous consequences.
On Tuesday, rival groups of protesters continued their demonstrations outside the Supreme Court, with anti-abortion activists chanting “Roe v Wade must go” and pro-abortion activists chanting “abortion is healthcare.”
Three appointments made by former President Donald Trump reshaped the Supreme Court, which has been dubbed the most conservative in modern US history. Republican presidents appointed six of the nine current justices. Democratic presidents selected the other three.
Roe v Wade, which was decided in 1973, gave women in the United States an unrestricted right to an abortion during the first three months of pregnancy and limited rights during the second trimester.
Anti-abortion rulings have gradually reduced access in more than a dozen states in the decades since.
In the year 2021, nearly 600 abortion restrictions were proposed across the country, with 90 of them becoming law. That is more than in any previous year since the Roe decision. Poor women, who are already more likely to seek an abortion, are thought to be the most affected by the elimination of abortion access.