A leaked Supreme Court draft could overturn landmark Roe v. Wade decision

The fight for reproductive rights continues after a SCOTUS draft was leaked by Politico


Photo courtesy of npr.org (via Getty Images)

Abortion rights activists attend a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 5 in Washington, DC.

Mya Collins, Assistant Editor, News

A draft written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito was leaked on May 2 which could overturn the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision declaring abortion as a constitutional right, sparking outrage across the country. 

The leaked draft was published by Politico with an opinion on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, but the final draft is not expected to be published until the end of June. Until the publication, Supreme Court justices can change their opinion prior to the final decision being issued. 

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Chief Justice John Roberts has initiated an investigation into the leak as members of the Supreme Court begin to speak out about the “unspeakable breach of trust.”

“When you lose that trust, especially in the institution that I’m in, it changes the institution fundamentally,” Justice Clarence Thomas said. “You begin to look over your shoulder. It’s like kind of an infidelity that you can explain it, but you can’t undo it.”

Although the overturning of Roe. v. Wade would does not mean all 50 states will ban the medical procedure, other states could place restrictions on abortions, thus lowering their access to patients. 

“It’s important to understand that the long-term agenda of abortion opponents doesn’t end with overturning Roe,” Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said. “What they want is a nationwide ban on abortion. So if you’re in a state like New York or California, where you believe you will have access to abortion even if Roe is overturned, that is true in the short term. But the plan from abortion opponents is to continue to push for a nationwide ban, so that could change.

Since the draft was leaked, the public has erupted into protests against abortion restrictions to rally in support of reproductive rights. 

“I don’t want to be a 15-year-old that’s pregnant,” 11-year old Isla Grant-Reyes said during a protest in Brooklyn. “That’s your choice, and it should be your choice. I’m here because I deserve rights.”

Talk about reproductive rights has centered around the concept of pro-life versus pro-choice, the difference being that like latter advocates for the legalization of abortion as a fundamental human right to those who choose that path for themselves. 

“Abortion is deeply personal and the government should not be allowed to dictate what happens with someone’s body,” sophomore Savanna Riddick said. “Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.”

Moving forward, reproductive rights advocates continue to protest and stay engaged in the uproar as more information about the leaked Supreme Court draft that will arguably change the course of history is released.