A recent leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court suggests that the right for a woman to have an abortion in the United States may soon lose federal protections. The landmark case of Roe vs. Wade established that right in 1973. The leaked draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, would end the federal legalization of abortion and leave it up to the states if that decision were adopted officially.
Protests broke out near the US Supreme Court after the news broke. Thousands have taken to social media to voice their opinions. Chief Justice John Roberts has now ordered an investigation into what caused the leak.
That likely won’t be enough for many Americans. Although a Supreme Court leak is unprecedented, activists for a woman’s right to choose would much rather talk about what they perceive as a major conservative power grab. Proponents of overturning Roe vs. Wade have contended that it is a state’s rights issue. Roberts himself weighed in on the leak on Monday, according to the Associated Press.
“Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.
To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed.”
No final determination on the fate of free choice in the United States has been made. If the leaked document ends up being the court’s decision, women will be forced to find alternatives to safe, legal abortion in many areas of the country. For the time being, the Chief Justice is more concerned with outing the leaker.
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