Draft Opinion Reveals Supreme Court Has Voted To Overturn Abortion Rights

A 50 year sustained attack on reproductive rights has culminated in the moment women have feared — Roe v Wade will likely be overturned. 

Although you can’t really prepare yourself for a moment such as this — one where abortion is illegal, even criminalized — we tried to brace ourselves. 

We knew it was a very real possibility, but that doesn’t make it any less breathtakingly terrifying. 

The future for our daughters and granddaughters looks chilling, because in their lifetime, it’s looking as though they’ll have severely restricted bodily autonomy when it comes to reproductive rights. 

On Monday night, Politico broke the story and published a leaked 98 page opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Alito. 

This is the first time a draft opinion has been leaked to the press, signaling we are in a “break glass in case of emergency” state. 

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Alito writes in an initial majority draft circulated inside the court. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justice Alito’s opinion, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court,” continues, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

What Happens Now?

Now, once the draft is circulated, the justices in dissent will write an opinion, which is presumably happening now. But the tentative vote seems strong, and Chief Justice Roberts is irrelevant if the four other justices and Alito stick with their tentative votes.

There is the possibility an opinion can flip after oral argument and the tentative vote, so it’s theoretically possible that the Alito opinion won’t be the vote of the Court. 

But it would require a Justice other than Chief Justice Roberts to flip.

The opinion says states can criminalize abortion, with no rape or incest exception, and it will set women back in profound ways.

It overturns Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which strengthened Roe. 

As of now, this will cleanly, unmistakably overturn Roe v. Wade. This doesn’t mean abortion will be outlawed nationwide, but it hands the decision back to individual states.

Trigger Laws  

“More than 20 states have ‘trigger laws,’ which will ban or severely restrict abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Other states are taking steps to protect abortion rights through legislation,” according to NPR.

The trigger laws in place for if (and when) Roe v Wade is overturned will go into effect immediately. 

The following are states that passed trigger laws, in which first and second trimester abortions will be banned and considered illegal as soon as this decision is official: 

  • Arkansas

  • Idaho

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Mississippi

  • Missouri

  • North Dakota

  • Oklahoma

  • South Dakota

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Wyoming

It can not be said enough that banning abortion will not stop abortion — it will simply take away safe medical procedures. Abortion is healthcare, full stop. 

The official decision will come down in June. You can read the full leaked draft opinion here


Abortion is healthcare, and 36 million women will be affected if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Tell us how you feel in the comments.

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