No matter how bad you thought things were, they’re about to get astoundingly worse: On May 2, The Supreme Court’s unreleased draft of the majority opinion on the pivotal abortion rights case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, was leaked by an unknown source and published by Politico. While the Supreme Court hasn’t officially released the opinion, this first draft spells a bleak future for abortion rights, and people all over the internet are terrified of what comes next. These tweets about the Supreme Court and Roe v. Wade after the leaked decision draft are filled with frustration, and it’s easy to see why.
The leaked 98-page decision draft, penned by Justice Samuel Alito, was published late Monday evening by Politico, and decisively strikes down Roe v. Wade in a five-to-four majority vote. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in the document. “We hold that Roe and [1992’s abortion rights case Planned Parenthood v.] Casey must be overruled,” he added. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
In a statement shared with multiple outlets on the morning of May 3, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft’s authenticity, but noted that it was not a final decision. Roberts also ordered an investigation into the leak.
Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett all voted with Alito to strike down the landmark reproductive rights case, according to the draft. Meanwhile, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan are working on dissents, according to Politico’s anonymous source. People all over the internet are sharing a range of emotions, and they’re not holding back when it comes to calling for action.
According to reproductive rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, should Roe fall in the Supreme Court, 28 states are prepared to enact laws that would ban abortion outright, with 13 of those states carrying “trigger” laws that will immediately outlaw abortion in the absence of Roe. While abortion would still be legal in some states, large swaths of the country would see abortion effectively out of reach.
Supporters of reproductive rights are ripping into the Supreme Court’s projected decision. “This is the most ominous and alarming sign yet that our nation’s highest court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion as we know it and ripping away our freedom to decide if, when, and how to raise our families,” NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju in a May 2 statement shared with Elite Daily. “These bans and attacks on abortion access fall hardest on those most marginalized, including people of color, LGBTQ people, people with low incomes, and those in rural communities.”
After the leaked decision draft was published, President Joe Biden released a May 3 statement. “I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” he wrote. Biden added that without Roe, the duty to protect reproductive rights “will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government,” and that the responsibility to elect pro-choice officials during the upcoming November midterm elections “will fall on voters.” As of May 2022, the Women’s Health Protection Act — federal legislation which would codify the right to abortion across the nation — has 224 co-sponsors across both chambers of Congress, but has not been called to a vote in the Senate.
While the future is frightening, abortion rights activists across the country are still working to ensure people have access to the health care they need. “This decision is not final. Providers in most places can continue providing abortion care for their communities, but it doesn’t change the reality of this moment and how painful this is,” said Dr. Jamila Perritt, President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health in a May 3 statement shared with Elite Daily. “We will continue to support each other, show up for one another, and care for our communities. Because that’s what we know how to do best.”
A formal ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson is expected by late June or early July.