AOC, Bernie Sanders and more denounce leaked Supreme Court plan to overturn Roe v Wade

‘Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v Wade as the law of the land in this country’

Andrew Buncombe
Chief US Correspondent
Tuesday 03 May 2022 13:31
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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders led angry condemnation to a draft leaked judgement by America’s Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v Wade, and in doing so end a woman’s guaranteed access to abortion.

As it was reported the court, which now has a 6-3 conservative majority had passed around and discussed a draft judgment in relation to a case from Mississippi, and a 5-4 ruling to overturn Roe, supporters of reprodutive rights condemned the decision and said the matter had not yet been been decided.

“Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented, but it is not final,” tweeted Planned Parenthood, one of the country’s biggest providers of healthcare to women, including abortionss.

It added: “Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat who represents New York City, wrote: “As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion - they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights.”

She added: “Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change.”

Mr Sanders, another progressive, tweeted: “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW. And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”

Polls show that a majority of Americans have for at least a decade or so, supported a women’s right to an abortion. Data also shows that the number of abortions across the country has been decreasing for a number of years.

At the same time, opponents of abortion have been steadily and strategically making progress at a state level, passing increasingly restrictive bills in places such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, often with the proponents of the bills hoping the case will get taken to the Supreme Court.

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Indeed, it was one such case in Missippissi, Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, over legislation that would have banned abortion after 15 weeks, that justices had been considering.

The draft opinion, obtained by Politico, and representing an incredibly rare leak from the nation’s highest court, appeared to have been authored by Justice Samuel Alito, and was dated 10 February.

It indicated that he, along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted to overturn Roe and Casey after hearing oral arguments in the Mississippi case.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he wrote. ““It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives”.

Experts have said if Roe was rejected by the Supreme Court, it could eliminate abortion access across more than half the US and force many pregnant women to carry their pregnancies to term unless they can travel to a handful of states with abortion protections in place.

The reaction was rapid, and ranged from anger to dismay.

Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Not surprising. But still outrageous. This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & 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. What an utter disgrace.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin, posted an image of Ms Clinton, one of the attendees at the Met Gala in New York City, which was taking place as the news broke.

Roe v Wade has been overturned. Yes I know. Stay in my lane. Well I’d love to be posting about the met gala but this is the only attendee I care about,”she wrote. “President Hillary Clinton never would’ve let Roe be overturned.”

Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who challenged for the presidency in 2020, said: “It is a fundamental right for a woman to make her own health decisions. We must protect the right to choose and codify Roe v Wade into law.”

Ilhan Omar, a progressive congresswoman from Minnesota, tweeted: “Overturning Roe would put the lives of women across the country at risk. It would fly in the face of decades of precedent and the overwhelming majority of public opinion. And they will not stop here.”

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