US Supreme Court confirms that leaked document on overturning abortion rights law is real

·3-min read
Photo credit: Guy Smallman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Guy Smallman - Getty Images

The US Supreme Court has confirmed that a leaked document – which suggested that millions of people could lose the legal right to abortion – is real.

To recap, earlier this week a document was leaked to the public which revealed that the top US court had proposed to overturn the 1973 decision (Roe vs Wade) that legalised abortion throughout the country. If this goes ahead, it means that individual states will be allowed to set their own abortion laws, putting safe access to termination at risk for millions of people in the US.

The leaked document, shared by Politico, was written by Justice Samuel Alito who said that the 1973 ruling to legalise abortion across the US was "egregiously wrong from the start" adding that it "must be overruled".

Photo credit: JOSEPH PREZIOSO - Getty Images
Photo credit: JOSEPH PREZIOSO - Getty Images

The draft is not a final ruling, and the court's opinion on the matter could change, but the leaked document has understandably triggered widespread concern and reignited the debate around abortion.

"A reminder that the same lawmakers who say gun laws won't stop gun violence believe abortion laws will stop abortion," one person tweeted in response to the document, with someone else saying: "Abortions will still happen. They just won’t be safe or legal."

Current US president Joe Biden said that if abortion is overturned, this will call other freedoms into question (per the BBC), while former presidency candidate Hillary Clinton said: "Not surprising. But still outrageous. This decision is 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. What an utter disgrace."

Elsewhere, Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO at Planned Parenthood (the US' largest and leading provider of sexual and reproductive health care), said: "Let's be clear: Abortion is legal. It is still your right."

Johnson went on, "This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. While we have seen the writing on the wall for decades, it is no less devastating, and comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide.

"Understand that Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight. Planned Parenthood health centres remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion."

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