Biden vows action to protect abortion rights as John Roberts confirms leaked opinion

Katie R. Ochoa

Roe v Wade protesters speak out about Supreme Court plan to drop abortion law

Leading Democrats have condemned the reported decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v Wade ruling that legalised abortion nationwide nearly 50 years ago. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the leaked draft was authentic, as President Joe Biden vowed to fight the court’s imminent decision.

Congressional Democratic leadership said the Republican-appointed justices who reportedly endorsed Justioce Samuel Alito’s opinion were “poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past 50 years,” as abortion rights

The decision indicates that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority will uphold a Mississippi law criminalising abortion care at 15 weeks of pregnancy, in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, and overrule precedents established in Roe and affirmed by the 1993 decision in Casey v Planned Parenthood.

Republican officials have meanwhile celebrated the likely demise of Roe while condemning the “leak” from the nation’s high court.

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Barack Obama issues statement on Supreme Court draft decision after facing criticism for inaction during his administration

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement Tuesday concerning the leaked Supreme Court draft decision aiming at overturning Roe v. Wade.

“If the Supreme Court ultimately decides to overturn the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, then it will not only reverse nearly 50 years of precedent – it will relegate the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues.

Few, if any women, make the decision to terminate a pregnancy casually – and people of goodwill, across the political spectrum, can hold different views on the subject. But what Roe recognised is that the freedom enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution requires all of us to enjoy a sphere of our lives that isn’t subject to meddling from the state – a sphere that includes personal decisions involving who we sleep with, who we marry, whether or not to use contraception, and whether or not to bear children.”

Mr Obama has faced criticism today for failing to codify Roe v. Wade into law during his presidency, which he said would be the “first thing he would do” as president.

He later said codifying the law was “not his highest legislative priority” when asked why he failed to deliver on his promise.

Read his full statement below.

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 21:00

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Illinois Governor JB Pritkzer says abortions will remain safe and legal in Illinois regardless of Supreme Court ruling

Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois said that abortions will remain safe and legal in his state regadless of the Supreme Court’s eventual ruling on Roe v. Wade.

At the same time, Congressman Josh Hawley of Missouri called the leaked Supreme Court decision aimed at striking down the ruling “one of the greatest [decisions] in Supreme Court history.”

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 21:15

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Legal analysts say Supreme Court leaker would likely not face criminal prosecution

Legal analysts speaking to the Washington Post said the individual who leaked the Supreme Court draft decision indicating its intention to overturn Roe v. Wade is unlikely to face criminal exposure, assuming they had legitimate access to the document.

They also said it was unlikely the Supreme Court even has the authority to investigate the leak unless evidence emerges that the documents were obtained illegally.

“Unless the draft was obtained through means that were themselves unlawful, I’m having a really hard time seeing what crime was committed in leaking it to the press,” University of Texas Law School Professor Stephen I. Vladeck, told the Washington Post. He added: “That doesn’t mean that there won’t or can’t be an investigation, but I’d be really surprised if it ended up with any kind of criminal charge.”

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 21:30

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Biden urges voters to ‘elect pro-choice officials’ as Democrats hope ‘radical’ leak rallies midterm base

Joe Biden has urged voters to elect “pro-choice officials” this year in the wake of the leak of a Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Democrats hope that the revelation of the court’s intentions will help rally the party’s base ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

“If this becomes law it motivates the Democratic base,” Michael Fraioli, a Democratic strategist in Washington DC, said. “If the court changes its mind, it will demoralise Republicans.”

Andrew Buncombe has responses from pro-choice advocates and more from Democrats in his report below:

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 21:37

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California announces it will create ‘firewall’ to protect abortion rights in state

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday saying the state would protect women’s rights to have an abortion regardless of the Supreme Court’s eventual decision on Roe v. Wade.

“California will not stand idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights and the progress so many have fought for gets erased. We will fight. California is proposing an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution so that there is no doubt as to the right to abortion in this state,” the statement said. “We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution. Women will remain protected here.”

California state Senator Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon will reportedly introduce the measure to the state’s legislature.

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 21:45

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Daughter of Jane Roe reacts to draft Supreme Court opinion

Melissa MIlls, the first child of Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey, aka “Jane Roe,” the plaintiff of Roe v. Wade, said she was in disbelief when she learned of the Supreme Court’s draft decision that would overturn the ruling.

“I just can’t believe that we’re going to step back 50 years,” she said.

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 22:00

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How the end of Roe v Wade will impact abortion access across the US

Without constitutional protections to abortion care affirmed by the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, roughly half of US states will immediately or quickly outlaw abortion, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans in place – laws designed to take effect without Roe.

Nine states have laws in place that banned abortions before the Roe ruling but have never been removed from the books; those laws are expected to go back into effect if the Supreme Court overturns it.

Alex Woodward3 May 2022 22:17

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In New York City, abortion rights protesters take to the streets

Abortion rights advocates organised on social media on Tuesday for demonstrations across the US in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court opinion to reject the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade.

One protest is underway in New York City’s Foley Square:

Alex Woodward3 May 2022 22:30

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Mapped: How the end of Roe could make abortions illegal in half the country

The Supreme Court’s reversal of constitutional protections for abortion care could ignite “trigger” laws outlawing the procedure in more than a dozen states, while others have restrictive laws in place effectively banning abortion care, or state constitutional amendments spefically rejecting the right to an abortion.

Alex Woodward3 May 2022 23:00

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Breaking: Oklahoma’s governor signs six-week abortion ban into law

Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt – who has pledged to “outlaw abortion” in the state – has signed a measure into law banning abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, that will take effect immediately.

Alex Woodward3 May 2022 23:03

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