The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the controversial Roe v. Wade decision, which ruled that the Constitution protects a woman’s ability to have an abortion, according to a leaked draft of the majority opinion obtained by Politico.
The draft, written by Justice Samuel Alito, “is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right,” Politico reported. “Deliberations on controversial cases have in the past been fluid. Justices can and sometimes do change their votes as draft opinions circulate and major decisions can be subject to multiple drafts and vote-trading, sometimes until just days before a decision is unveiled. The court’s holding will not be final until it is published, likely in the next two months.”
“For the first 185 years after the adoption of the Constitution, each State was permitted to address [the issue of abortion] issue in accordance with the views of its citizens,” Alito reportedly wrote in the majority opinion. “Then, in 1973, this Court decided Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113. Even though the Constitution makes no mention of abortion, the Court held that it confers a broad right to obtain one. It did not claim that American law or the common law had ever recognized such a right, and its survey of history ranged from the constitutionally irrelevant(e.g. its discussion of abortion in antiquity) to the plainly incorrect (e.g, its assertion that abortion was probably never a crime under the common law). After cataloguing a wealth of other information having no bearing on the meaning of the Constitution, the opinion concluded with a numbered set of rules much like those that might be found in a statute enacted by a legislature.”
“At the time of Roe, 30 States still prohibited abortion at all stages,” Alito wrote. “In the years prior to that decision, about a third of the States had liberalized their laws, but Roe abruptly ended that political process. It imposed the same highly restrictive regime on the entire Nation, and it effectively struck down the abortion laws of every single State.”
According to the report, the Court ruled 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, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote. “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.”