On Monday the 2nd of May, Politico released a leaked Supreme Court document presenting the current justices’ opinion on the ruling of Roe v. Wade decided in 1973. Within the almost 100 page report, it was made clear that the court plans to overturn the case precedent, leaving the the legality of the right to an abortion in the hands of each individual state. Within the drafted report, written by Justice Samuel Alito, it states: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” and “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” Justice Alito cites that before the case, thirty states had completely outlawed abortion, and therefore, by stripping its federal power, the choice to legalize or outlaw and to what degree could be left to the states. While directly after the leak there was the possibility of a fake report, within the day the Supreme Court announced the document was verified and their words were true, the court planned to overturn the case with a 5-4 vote.
In immediate response, residents of the United States around the country took up in protest to the leaked decision. In major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and even on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington DC, unrest broke out, with protestors flocking the streets to advocate for the protection of bodily autonomy. In the original case, the 7-2 ruling cited the 14th Amendment and the “right to privacy” as legal support for women’s right to an abortion without excessive government restriction. Over the past 50 years, federal and state legislation have been shot down by the Supreme Court due to the bills’ limiting nature; but, with new appointed justices by President Trump, the court has shifted conservative. CNN reported that polling showed only thirty percent of Americans favor completely overturning Roe vs. Wade, yet due to the political and religious beliefs of the current Supreme Court justices the right to bodily autonomy could be jeopardized. Without the protection from the case’s precedent, states would be able to completely ban abortion. Numerous sources estimate within the first few months many states will outlaw abortion procedures; the New York Times projects at least half in our nation to do so.
President Biden has already come forward to urge Congress to pass protective legislature, but without distinct constitutional protection, the right to abortion will always be at risk. Individuals capable of becoming pregnant deserve the right to choose whether they should have a child, which is an extremely difficult and complex decision. Politics should not determine the access to abortion for millions, especially in a time where rape and gender based violence is horrifically common. In the coming weeks we shall see how truly supportive our state representatives are for those whose human right to privacy of their own body is at risk.