PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — According to a draft majority opinion published Monday by Politico, the US Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade that protects the federal right to abortion.
In Politico’s report, it appears that someone leaked a Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. In the draft opinion, the Supreme Court will strike down abortion protections at the federal level.
But this is a leaked draft opinion. A published opinion from the Supreme Court is expected within the next 2 months. So much could change — and often does — throughout the process.
Lewis and Clark law professor Tung Yin stressed there is no guarantee that this will be the majority opinion.
“I have to say that the most surprising thing to me is that this even leaked in the first place,” Yin told KOIN 6 News Monday night. “But if the ruling is simply what it appears to be — which is to say that the right to privacy does not extend to the right to choose — then it would withdraw from constitutional protection abortion and then it would leave it up to the states. Some states could have very permissive abortion laws, others will be able to restrict it as much as they wanted.”
Reaction from various officials
- Oregon Gov. Kate Brown tweeted: “All Americans should have access to abortion –– full stop. Abortion is health care and protected by state law in Oregon. We will fight to keep it that way, no matter what this Supreme Court decides.”
- Oregon Right to Life Executive Director Lois Anderson released this statement:
“While we are shocked by the egregious leak of information, we are encouraged by the court’s desire to overturn Roe v. Wade. The pro-life movement remains hopeful that the justices will stand firm in their positions as we wait for a final decision later this spring.”
- Oregon ACLU Executive Director Sandy Chung, who described herself as “not surprised but very disappointed,” said the ACLU will continue to fight for abortion rights.
But if the Supreme Court ultimately does overturn Roe v Wade, the decision would then rest with each state.
“So a lot of the states that are going to really outlaw abortion or even criminalize it are going to be Southern states and Midwestern states, and also states like Idaho, which have already taken steps similar to Texas,” Chung said. “And so I think it’s really important for people in Oregon, for Oregonians, to stand up for this right.”
- And a statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said:
“Let’s be clear: Abortion is legal. It is still your right. This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. 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. Understand that Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight. Planned Parenthood health centers remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion.”
- Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan: Abortion is legal.
- Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: I remember the days before Roe v. Wade, and I know that banning abortion does not make it go away; it makes it unsafe and dangerous.
- Rep. Earl Blumenauer: In case people didn’t know that elections have consequences. We will fight this state by state and at the national level. Shameful (draft) decision by those who say they support freedom and liberty #Roe
- Sen. Jeff Merkley: Five unelected justices acting as a super legislature are rolling over Americans’ rights. We are in big trouble. I won’t stop fighting to #PassWHPA and codify abortion care for all into federal law
- Sen. Ron Wyden: If true, this will be a devastating loss of constitutionally guaranteed bodily autonomy for half of America. Abortion is health care. Republicans have set the stage for the total erosion of Americans’ rights. Democrats must use every tool at our disposal to fight back.
Wyden released a full statement Tuesday:
“The Republican party has set the stage for a total erosion of Americans’ constitutional rights. They have made clear they won’t stop at gutting the right for a woman to make decisions about her own body. Republicans know that the majority of Americans don’t support eroding fundamental rights like privacy, so instead, they packed the Supreme Court with right-wing extremists willing to do their dirty work behind closed doors. This is a five alarm fire. If this is the final decision, the United States will be one of a handful of countries in the world moving backwards on women’s rights. The overturning of Roe would mark a devastating loss of constitutionally guaranteed bodily autonomy and privacy for more than half of America. Let me be clear: abortion is health care. Ending this protected and established right — a right generations of women have now known and that the overwhelming majority of Americans support — would harm the health, safety, and lives of millions of women and families. This is going to be the fight of our lives, and we must use every tool at our disposal to stop this attack on constitutionally guaranteed rights.”