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The United States Supreme Court is set to overturn a landmark ruling allowing abortion for women across the country, according to a leaked draft opinion published by Politico magazine.

The news outlet said it had obtained an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that showed the court had voted to strike down the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling.

The leaked draft does not represent an official decision on the matter, and there is still the possibility that votes could change as deliberations continue.

Here is how various members of the Democratic and Republic parties, rights groups and legal centres have so far reacted to the news:


In a joint statement, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the court seemed “poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years – not just on women but on all Americans”.

Rounding on the “Republican-appointed” members of the court, the statement said a vote to overturn Roe v Wade “would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history”.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, said the draft opinion was a “disgraceful attack” on women’s right to choose and said abortion would “always be” safe and accessible in New York.

Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state, former first lady, and a Democrat who ran for the presidency, called it “outrageous”.

Congressman Bernie Sanders, who also ran for the presidency, said Roe v Wade must be codified as the law of the land.

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Many Republicans hailed the draft ruling.

“The left continues its assault on the Supreme Court with an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, clearly meant to intimidate,” said Republican Senator Josh Hawley.

“I will say, if this is the Court’s opinion, it’s a heck of an opinion. Voluminously researched, tightly argued, and morally powerful.”

A woman protests for abortion rights in Washington, DC
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 [File: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo]

Rights and legal groups

Several rights groups condemned the draft ruling.

The president of abortion rights advocacy group Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, said: “This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears … 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… [We] will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion.”

The National Women’s Law Center said: “The language in the draft opinion leaked from the Supreme Court is outrageous, irresponsible and shocking. Any Justice who signs onto this opinion is fuelling the harm and violence that will happen to people who become pregnant in this country.”

The American Civil Liberties Union said: “If the Supreme Court does indeed issue a majority opinion along the lines of the leaked draft authored by Justice Alito, the shift in the tectonic plates of abortion rights will be as significant as any opinion the Court has ever issued.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights said: “If the Supreme Court gives states more leeway to restrict abortion or prohibit it altogether, almost half the states would likely enact new laws as restrictive as possible or seek to enforce current, unconstitutional laws prohibiting abortion. States would then be divided into abortion deserts, where it would be illegal to access care, and abortion havens, where care would continue to be available.”

Source: Al Jazeera

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