House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a joint statement Monday condemning the leaked first draft opinion of the Supreme Court, in which the majority allegedly voted to overturn the historic ruling in the 1973 case Roe v Wade.
“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,” the joint statement shared with the Washington Examiner said. “The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history.”
The opinion was penned by Justice Samuel Alito but was on behalf of the court’s more conservative justices, including Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett, who reportedly voted to overturn the ruling. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, who were appointed under Democratic administrations, reportedly voted against. Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed during George W. Bush’s administration, has not voted, according to the Politico report.
The opinion also mentioned the reversal of the subsequent case Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, which upheld the ruling in Roe, and will be released in the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the United States Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation — all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century,” the joint statement continued. “The party of Lincoln and Eisenhower has now completely devolved into the party of Trump.”
Democratic governors, including Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, have issued statements promising to safeguard abortion access in their respective states if the ruling stands in the final opinion, expected by the end of June.
Rep. Ilhan Omar has renewed calls to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court in light of the leaked document.
If the opinion stands as it has been posed by Alito’s first draft, the topic of abortion will revert back to individual states but eliminate the constitutional guarantee of a person’s access to abortion, meaning conservative states could outlaw the procedure.
As it stands, if the case was overturned, abortion would become illegal in 13 states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming, which all have trigger laws that would ban the procedure if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
As of April, there are 22 states set to ban or limit abortion access immediately if Roe were overturned.