According to a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion, the nation’s top judges are preparing to strike down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and the subsequent 1992 Parenthood v. Casey decision, which guaranteed federal constitutional protections to abortion rights across the U.S.
A so-called draft majority opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, published by the news portal Politico, indicates the court has reached an initial majority against these historic rulings, and will repudiate them once the ruling is published. The decision can only take effect after its official publication, which is expected within two months.
Alito writes that “Roe and Casey must be overruled… It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” The draft opinion also states that “Roe’s survey of history ranged from the constitutionally irrelevant to the plainly incorrect,” and its reasoning was “exceptionally weak, and had damaging consequences.” Judge Alito concludes by saying that “a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions.”
It is not entirely clear if the leak by Politico represents the final decision of the court, but if published, this would without doubt cause a constitutional earthquake in the U.S. The ruling would, in practice, mean that every state could draft their own abortion legislation and these could not be overturned on a federal, constitutional basis. Analysts believe that although this would continue to permit abortions to any state whose elected legislature choose to do so, it would immediately lead at least some of the states in the south and Midwest to introduce bans and strict restrictions on abortion. Some Republican states recently moved towards stricter abortion laws, and are planning to ban all abortions after six weeks. The ruling by the Supreme Court would help them fend off new challenges to these restrictions. However, if this comes to fruition, in theory any state can introduce a flat ban on abortions.
After the document was leaked, some 200 people gathered in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. Hillary Clinton went on to complain on Twitter, calling the decision “outrageous.”
“This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women… It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace,” the unsuccessful former Democratic presidential candidate wrote. Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar also wrote that “they’re literally stripping the women of this country of their rights. There are going to be state by state fights. There are going to be repercussions like never before.”
Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren went as far as calling the U.S. Supreme Court “extremists.”
“An extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country… We’re not going back — not ever.”
The industrial-scale abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which operates abortion clinics around the country, waded in to the debate, calling the decision “outrageous.”
“Tonight’s report makes clear that our deepest fears are coming true. We have reached a crisis moment for abortion access. We don’t have a moment to spare — we must act now,” they wrote. The abortion clinic has performed over 6 million abortions since 2000, and despite efforts of pro-life groups to defund the organization, they received $618.1 million in government funding in FY2020. In fact, the organization’s aggressive self-promotion is so pervasive that one typing “planned” into Google’s search engine will get the name of the organization as the first option.
Judging by the extreme reactions coming from the American far left, judge Alito was correct in saying that “Far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have inflamed debate and deepened division.”
Some also point to the fact that according to polls, some 70 percent of Americans are against overturning Roe v. Wade. Yet, these opinions ignore the fact that the mentioned poll was conducted in 2019, well before the power-grab of the U.S. radical left through the Biden administration, which has managed to use the issue of abortions for its sectarian political battles, and to divide and polarize society into sharply opposed factions.