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Abortion rights groups quickly responded to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that, if published, would overturn Roe v. Wade, slamming the opinion while making it clear that so far abortion rights have not changed.
Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, it would eliminate the idea that abortion is a constitutional right. While that in itself would not make abortion illegal in the U.S., it would allow individual states to ban the practice if they pass legislation to do so.
“Let’s be clear: Abortion is legal. It is still your right,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement responding to the leak, noting that nothing is official yet. “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.”
Johnson stated that the news “comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide,” but that her organization and others “have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight.”
In the meantime, she said, “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.”
Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup also noted that the leaked draft means nothing today, while coming out strongly against what it would mean if it ends up being the court’s opinion.
“We don’t know if the document as reported by Politico is legitimate, and we don’t know if it represents the views of a majority of the Supreme Court … What we do know is that if #SCOTUS overturns #Roe it will be an unjustified, unprecedented stripping away of a guaranteed right that has been in place for nearly five decades,” Northup said in a statement, adding that it would be “the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.”
Northup again noted that the Supreme Court has yet to actually hand down a decision in the case, “and abortion remains legal in the United States,” even though a Supreme Court ruling would not in itself make abortion illegal.
NARAL Pro-Choice America similarly issued a statement noting that until the Supreme Court hands down a decision, nothing is official.
“The leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is not final. While this leak is unprecedented, it’s important to know that Roe still stands and abortion is still legal. But it’s clear that we need to fight harder than ever before,” the organization tweeted.
The leaked opinion is a full-throated rejection of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, with Justice Samuel Alito writing, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.” Still. it remains to be seen what the court’s final decision in the case will be, as language – and potentially, votes – could change. It is unknown when the court plans to issue its opinion in this case.