A leaked United States Supreme Court document has revealed a potential overturn of Roe v. Wade – which protects a pregnant woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion without state prohibition.
If passed, this document, which was published by Politico, would allow individual states to completely ban abortion within the state. This comes after Mississippi’s proposed ban on abortions after 15 weeks, which would undermine the landmark decision of Roe V. Wade.
This decision is to be made during the summer, in late June or early July. If this goes through, around 36 million women may lose their right to abortion access, according to Planned Parenthood.
Thirteen states have already passed “trigger laws”, which would automatically prohibit abortions if Roe V. Wade were to be overruled.
“If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” United States President Joe Biden expressed in a statement on the 3rd of May. He also further conveyed the need for a pro-choice majority in the House in order to codify Roe V. Wade, which he said he would “work to pass and sign into law.”
The leaked document, which is labeled “first draft”, was circulated in the court on the 10th of February and was written by Justice Samuel Alito. This archive seems to reflect the majority opinion of the court, but it remains unclear if this is a final opinion of the court, as justices could alter their standpoint during drafting.
Upon publication, the document has sparked an outcry from the public as well as democratic politicians, including inspiring protests from both pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators.
Ultimately, the final decision reached by the United States Supreme Court in the next few months will determine the liberty and fate of millions of women in the country.