MAY 4, 2022: Overnight, an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated inside the Supreme Court was leaked and suggests that abortion could soon be made illegal in the United States. But when the historic papers were released by POLITICO, the world’s attention was instead glued to Kim Kardashian as she entered the 2022 Met Gala in New York.
Let us explain.
Landmark bill Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973 in the US “which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights”. Subsequently a 1992 bill Planned Parenthood vs. Casey was passed which maintained this right. So essentially, if Roe v. Wade was overturned (which the aforementioned 98-page draft is suggesting), it could allow states to enact protections for, or devastatingly, repeal abortion rights. Texas is one such example which has established “trigger laws” that could make abortion illegal.
In a video via The National News, Senator Elizabeth Warren shared her disgust for the leaked document, visibly expressing how “angry” she was at the news because an “extremist Supreme Court thinks they can impose their extremist views on all of the women of this country.”
She added that 69 percent of men and women across the country want the Roe v. Wade maintained.
Following the news, singer Phoebe Bridgers – who is rumoured to be engaged to Paul Mescal – revealed she underwent an abortion while on tour last year. She shared a brief message on Instagram stories followed by a link to donate.
US President Joe Biden has since reacted to the draft, noting that his administration argues strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade. “We do not know whether this draft is genuine, or whether it reflects the final decision of the Court,” Biden said in a statement. He later added, “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental…”
Abortion rights have long been contested in the US. In September 2018, Kamala Harris put it simply to then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: “Can you think of any laws to make decisions about the male body?” He stuttered, speechless.
The leaked document have sparked abortion rights protests across the US today including in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Salt Lake City. Stay tuned for further developments.