The Supreme Court reportedly voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to an alleged draft opinion leaked to the press on Monday evening.
Although the authenticity of the draft has not been confirmed yet, the majority opinion obtained by Politico was authored by Justice Samuel Alito and has been circulating in the court since February.
The 98-page document appears to be a powerful rejection of the court’s 1973 decision to protect abortion under the implied right to privacy. Additionally, the record repudiates a chain of subsequent cases that followed Roe, including the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
The beginning of the document reads, “Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.”
Regardless of one’s opinion, the issue is a matter to be decided by the state, not the federal government, according to the majority decision. Alito writes, “For the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each State was permitted to address this issue in accordance with the views of its citizens.”
Furthermore, Alito argues that the “Constitution makes no mention of abortion.” Due to the constitutional absence of the matter, the federal court’s landmark ruling was “egregiously wrong from the start,” states Alito. Appointed by former President George W. Bush, Justice Alito is one of the conservative judges in the court’s 6-3 majority.
If legitimate, the leaked document is the first draft of the court’s opinion on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The judicial battle is over the state of Mississippi’s prohibition of abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The pro-life legislation takes issue with Roe v. Wade which bars individual states from prohibiting abortion. Chief Justice John Roberts provided hope for the pro-life movement during a hearing on the case when he said, “Viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice. If it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”
According to Alito, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The final ruling on the Mississippi case is expected to occur in mid-summer.