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US Supreme Court Has Voted To Overturn Abortion Rights, According To Leaked Decision

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

US Supreme Court Has Voted To Overturn Abortion Rights, According To Leaked Decision

American lawmakers could soon overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalised abortion nationwide.

According to a leaked initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, and obtained by Politco, the US Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark abortion rights ruling.

Politico reports the draft petition is an unflinching rejection of the 1973 decision, which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights, and allowed American women to access safe methods of terminating a pregnancy.


The leaked ruling would also disavow the following 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which largely maintained the right for US women to have broad access to abortions.

Justice Alito wrote in the leaked document: "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 (1992) have enflamed debate and deepened division."


Four other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett - voted in favour of Justice Alito in the conference, Politico also revealed.

Credit: Kjetil Kolbjørnsrud / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Kjetil Kolbjørnsrud / Alamy Stock Photo

When overturning a law in the US, an initial vote occurs amongst the Supreme Court Justices following an oral argument.

Then one Justice is assigned the majority opinion and writes a draft - which is Justice Alito in this case.


To simplify the situation, Alito's draft opinion states women have no US Constitutional right to abortion services.

If Roe v Wade is overturned, power to legislate abortion rights would return to the states instead of it being a federal issue.

This would mean conservative states in the US - specifically Southern and Midwestern states - could impose strict abortion bans on women and even block them from receiving an abortion, regardless of circumstance.


A ruling is only final when it is published by the court.

A lawyer on Twitter, Neal Katyal, said that if Poltico's report is accurate, the leaked document would be 'the first major leak from the Supreme Court ever'.

According to Politico, they received a leaked copy of 'the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case, along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document'.

The leaked file is dated from several months ago, with Politico reporter Josh Gerstein, who broke the initial story, telling MSNBC that changes may since have been made to the February 10 file.


"It is possible there have been some changes since then," Gerstein said.

Roe v. Wade is currently under scrutiny after Mississippi asked the justices to overturn the Roe and Casey rulings.

Featured Image Credit: Oksana Kuzmina / Alamy Stock Photo. incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: US News, Sex and Relationships, Politics

Rachel Lang
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