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03rd May 2022

US Supreme Court votes to overturn abortion rights, leaked draft shows

Katy Brennan

“One of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.”

Leaked documents have shown that a majority of US Supreme Court justices plan to support overturning the historic Roe v Wade case that legalised abortion.

Politico has published a draft which it says is a “full-throated and unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision”.

It is unclear if the draft represents the Supreme Court’s final decisions on the matter as it has yet to issue an official ruling. The ruling is set to be made in late June or early July.

However, if the US court strikes down the ruling, it could instantly make abortion illegal in more than 20 US states.

The news has been met with intense backlash. Within hours, protestors took to the streets of Washington DC.

Planned Parenthood tweeted: “While abortion is still legal, tonight’s report makes clear 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.”

Hillary Clinton said the decision is an “utter disgrace” and would be a “direct assault on the dignity, rights, and lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law”.

“It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal,” she continued.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans.”

They went on to call it an “abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history”.

The 1973 Roe v Wade case legalised abortion across the country.

Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey), a Texas woman, was a single mother pregnant for the third time and wanted an abortion.

She took federal action against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas county, over a law that made terminating a pregnancy a crime, except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life was in danger.

The Court held that the laws criminalising abortion in most instances violated a woman’s constitutional right to privacy.

Politico says the leaked document, written by Justice Samuel Alito, reads: “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”