The leak of an internal document from the US Supreme Court providing for the abolition of the constitutional right to abortion had the effect of a veritable earthquake in Washington, the shock wave of which was felt across the country.
Written by Judge Samuel Alito, the draft majority decision of the highest court in the United States, revealed Monday evening, represents an irrevocable reversal of the judgment known as “Roe v. Wade” of 1973, which guaranteed federal abortion protections, as well as “Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” a later 1992 decision that largely upheld that right.
“Roe was obviously unfounded from the start,” Alito wrote in the proposed text first broadcast by the “Politico” media, adding that “Roe and Casey must be cancelled”. The right of women to voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) “is not protected by any provision of the Constitution”, continued the judge in the document entitled “Opinion of the Court” whose authenticity was confirmed on Tuesday by the Court itself, stressing that “it is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people”.
In addition, the head of the Court, Judge John Roberts, announced on Tuesday that he had “ordered an investigation” to identify the origin of the leak of this preliminary draft, which must still be the subject of negotiations until its publication before June 30. Even as the Supreme Court seemed poised to reverse the landmark ruling, President Joe Biden, meanwhile, on Tuesday called on Congress to pass legislation codifying the right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade.
“If the Court overturns Roe, it will be up to our country’s elected officials, at all levels of government, to protect women’s right to choose,” Biden said in a statement, adding that “it will be up to voters to elect pro-choice representatives next November. “At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to pass legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to get passed and signed into law. as law,” he noted.
Biden, also noted that the arguments of the American Supreme Court in this draft decision very unfavorable to the right to abortion went “far beyond” abortion and potentially called into question “a whole series” of other rights. The Supreme Court’s draft overturning Roe v. Wade elicited mixed reactions reflecting the deep divisions on this topic and many others within American society. In front of the Capitol, several Americans gathered to express their anger and dismay with their elected officials.
Democrats said Tuesday morning they strongly condemned the Supreme Court’s decision and discussed strategies to preserve access to abortion. They also promised to redouble efforts to pass legislation to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into the law, and eliminate the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes in the Senate for a bill to move forward. However, in an evenly divided Senate, where Republicans and a conservative Democrat, namely Senator Joe Manchin, have already voted against passing legislation guaranteeing abortion rights, few legislative avenues seem viable. .
For their part, the Republicans condemned this unprecedented leak, which they described as an attempt “to intimidate judges on abortion”. The immediate impact of the decision, as written in February, would end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of the right to abortion and rule in favor of Mississippi in this case. very popular with regard to the state’s attempt to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Given the obvious geographic and political divisions on the issue of abortion, half of the American states, particularly in the conservative south and center, should quickly ban the procedure on their soil. In the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court, no draft has been released publicly while a case was still being negotiated.
This revelation seems to intensify the debate around a subject that was already making a lot of ink flow and galvanizing the liberal electorate in the run-up to the midterm elections where the Democrats were, until then, announced as big losers.