Pro-choice activists supporting legal access to abortion protest during a demonstration outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC

The Supreme Court Has Voted to Overturn Roe v. Wade, According to Reports

Politico has one of the biggest stories of the century live right now, the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers for the Supreme Court. The political news site acquired what it is confident is a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that will overturn Roe v. Wade and strike down federal protection of abortion rights in America. Per Politico’s report:

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The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO.

The draft opinion 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. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

It’s hard to know what to say right now except we told you so. As outraged as we are, most of us have been waiting for this moment since Donald Trump’s election in 2016. Anyone who cared about the rights of pregnant people and people who can become pregnant saw this coming from a mile away. Even so, it’s shocking to see it laid out so starkly, and to grasp that a handful of unelected judges working under the cover of secrecy can impact millions of lives, seize control of our bodies, and cause what will be unfathomable suffering, should this come to pass without countermeasures to stop it.

Knowing we were right isn’t helping right now.

And yes, the fact of this draft’s leaking in advance is a significant historical moment piled on another historical moment. Politico again:

No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term.

The draft opinion offers an extraordinary window into the justices’ deliberations in one of the most consequential cases before the court in the last five decades. Some court-watchers predicted that the conservative majority would slice away at abortion rights without flatly overturning a 49-year-old precedent. The draft shows that the court is looking to reject Roe’s logic and legal protections.

Many commentators have pointed out that this isn’t only an attack on reproductive rights, but could set the stage for challenges to gay marriage and other civil rights protections that were also considered “settled law.”

This is all the result of a decades-long campaign waged by Republicans and conservatives obsessed with controlling people’s bodies while providing zero social programs, healthcare, and safety nets to help children or people who bear children in this godforsaken country. And banning abortion does not lessen rates of abortion—it simply ensures that those who need access most cannot access it, and that many people will suffer and die as a result of unsafe and desperate attempts to acquire a vital healthcare procedure. We know this is true because we have been here before.

We’ll be covering this story as it develops. In the meantime, here are some of the tweets flooding the Internet. You’ll notice a conspicuous silence from the people who told us we were overreacting in our concern and panic for years.

By the way, our democratically elected, Democrat-led federal government isn’t helpless here. They just lack conviction, while the worst people, with apologies to Yeats, are full of passionate intensity. We’ll see, but we’re not holding our breath.

There was something uniquely American about this news unfolding while celebrities basked in one of their most glamorous and extravagant events, the Met Gala, which had a too-ironic theme this year of Gilded Age costumery.

These days, what isn’t dystopian?

(via Politico, image: Getty Images)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.