US Supreme Court declares war on women and abortion rights

British based campaign Abortion Rights organised a solidarity protest outside the US embassy in London on Tuesday 3 May evening - Photo: Jess Hurd

The leaked initial draft opinion by a majority of US Supreme Court justices, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, has been published by POLITICO. The draft opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, is a huge attack on women and on abortion rights.

The POLITICO article, by Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, accompanying the leaked draft, which can be read here, explains in some detail the draft opinion and includes the following points:

‘The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — that largely maintained the right.’

‘Alito argues that the 1973 abortion rights ruling was an ill-conceived and deeply flawed decision that invented a right mentioned nowhere in the Constitution and unwisely sought to wrench the contentious issue away from the political branches of government.’

‘The immediate impact of the ruling as drafted in February would be to end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion.’

‘The overturning of Roe would almost immediately lead to stricter limits on abortion access in large swaths of the South and Midwest, with about half of the states set to immediately impose broad abortion bans. Any state could still legally allow the procedure.’

‘Alito’s draft opinion rejects the idea that abortion bans reflect the subjugation of women in American society.’

‘Liberal justices seem likely to take issue with Alito’s assertion in the draft opinion that overturning Roe would not jeopardize other rights the courts have grounded in privacy, such as the right to contraception, to engage in private consensual sexual activity and to marry someone of the same sex.’

The article directly quotes parts of Alito’s draft opinion, in which he states the following:

‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start…’

‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision…’

 ‘The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions…’

‘The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion…’

‘Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.’

‘We cannot allow our decisions to be affected by any extraneous influences such as concern about the public’s reaction to our work…’

‘We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today’s decision overruling Roe and Casey. And even if we could foresee what will happen, we would have no authority to let that knowledge influence our decision.’

The Supreme Court’s ruling and accompanying final opinions are expected over the next two months. Following the leak of the draft opinion supporters of a woman’s right to choose are stepping up the campaign to defend the decisions made in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The full POLITICO article, which should be read, can be found here.