The US Supreme Court is set to overturn the legal right of women in America to have abortion, according to a leaked document.
Millions of US women and civil rights groups have been left stunned after a document labelled ‘Opinion of the Court’ allegedly showed a majority of the supreme court’s justices supported striking down Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion in the US.
The document seen by Political news outlet Politico, first published the paper, allegedly created earlier this year, states there is no constitutional right to abortion services and would allow individual states to heavily regulate or outrightly ban the abortion of pregnancies.
Reacting to the document release, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned, that if it's true, it would be a ‘direct assault on the dignity, rights, and lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law’.
‘It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal’, she said. ‘What an utter disgrace.’
The draft opinion was said to be made in reference to a case named Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, which challenges Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks.
Read the draft opinion below:
‘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….’
‘Far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.’
‘The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.’
‘It has been said that it is sometimes more important that an issue ‘be settled than that it be settled right.’ But when it comes to the interpretation of the Constitution — the ‘great charter of our liberties,’ which was meant ‘to endure through a long lapse of ages,’ we place a high value on having the matter “settled right.”’
‘On many other occasions, this Court has overruled important constitutional decisions. … Without these decisions, American constitutional law as we know it would be unrecognizable, and this would be a different country.’
‘The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who dissented in any respect from Roe.’
‘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.’
‘Roe was egregiously wrong from the start’, it reads. ‘We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled.’
It goes on to reference the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v Casey which affirmed Roe’s finding of a constitutional right to abortion services, but allowed states to place some constraints on the practice.
The document adds:
’It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.’