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The fallout from the leak of a potential Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision continued yesterday, with a number of protests being held around the country. The 1973 decision in Roe provided the constitutional basis for abortion rights in the US.
The leaked opinion followed December argumentsin Dobbs v. Jackson, which challenged a Mississippi law generally banning the procedure after the 15th week of pregnancy. Rather than uphold the state’s ability to place such limits, the draft suggests the court has voted to overturn Roe, allowing individual states to establish their own rules regarding the procedure.
Specifically, the court disagreed with the premise of Roe—that the right to an abortion was guaranteed under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Find the full 98-page document here (relevant passage on page 5).
Analysts noted stances may shift between draft opinions and final issuance. The procedure would become illegal in 13 states should the decision hold, while 18 states have codified some form of rights to abortion (see map). The final ruling is expected in the early summer.
Aside from the decision’s impact, observers say the leak itself is unprecedented in Supreme Court history. The court yesterday said the document was authentic and launched a probe to uncover its source.3