A leaked draft opinion has indicated that the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, something which could have harmful ramifications for LGBTQ+ people.
The landmark decision is what guarantees access to abortion in the United States and has been in effect since the 1970s, with Planned Parenthood v. Casey upholding the right in 1992.
However, the court appears to be poised to overturn the decision, according to a leaked draft opinion obtained by Politico on 2 May.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” the document’s author, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., states in the draft. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely – the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
“That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty’. The right to abortion does not fall within this category.”
The Supreme Court has voted to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and obtained by POLITICO.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito writes. https://t.co/nl3JFLx9xg
— POLITICO (@politico) May 3, 2022
The decision, which is not expected to be finalised for another month or so, would mean that abortion rights would be determined by individual states.
It marks the first time in modern history that a draft decision has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending, Politico reported.
Although its final form could change, legislatures in 22 states would likely ban or substantially restrict access to abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the way the draft opinion proposes – a move that would disproportionately affect those who cannot afford to travel for the procedure.
Republican-appointed justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett reportedly voted with Alito, according to a source who spoke to the aforementioned outlet.
Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, the three Democratic-appointed justices, are apparently working on one or more dissents, with the George W Bush- appointed Chief Justice John Roberts’ position remaining unclear at this time.
My statement on the reported Supreme Court decision draft. pic.twitter.com/Kt3bP0kzqU
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 3, 2022
“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,” said President Joe Biden. “And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”
Some politicians and activists have warned of what the rollback of a 49-year-old precedent could mean for other rulings, such as Obergefell v. Hodges which guaranteed the fundamental right to marry for same-sex couples.
“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, US representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, wrote on Twitter shortly after the news broke. “Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change.”
As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights.
Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change https://t.co/5Isec0osV0
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 3, 2022
Jon Cooper, the former National Finance Chair of Draft Biden 2016, added that the “far-right Supreme Court majority is coming after GAY MARRIAGE next.”
Keith Edwards, Communications Director for politician Nikki Fried, said: “If they’ll overturn Roe, make no mistake this court is coming for gay marriage next.”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar called for the Supreme Court to be expanded, a move that would give Democrats the opportunity to combat its current conservative majority.
“Overturning Roe would put the lives of women across the country at risk,” she stated. “It would fly in the face of decades of precedent and the overwhelming majority of public opinion. And they will not stop here.”
The draft in question was not completed until 10 February and the ruling is not final until it is officially published, with justices able to change their position before then.