Alabama lawmakers react to leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade

A leaked draft obtained by Politico suggests SCOTUS could overturn Roe v. Wade.
A leaked draft obtained by Politico suggests SCOTUS could overturn Roe v. Wade.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:13 AM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2022 at 10:21 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama lawmakers are reacting after a leaked draft opinion of the United State Supreme Court’s justices suggested Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion, could be overturned.

The draft was labeled a “1st Draft” of the “Opinion of the Court” in a case challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Associated Press reported. The court is expected to rule on the case before its term ends in late June or early July.

In response to the leaked draft, several of Alabama’s political leaders issued public statements on the possible overturning of the landmark abortion rights ruling.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the leak is “concerning” and a “blatant attempt to manipulate” the procedures of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ivey added that the state would continue its fight for the unborn.

U.S. Rep. Barry Moore, R-District 2, said the leak was “outrageous” and “dangerous.”

“Tonight’s outrageous and unprecedented leak is astonishingly dangerous and further proof that nothing obstructing the Left’s radical agenda is safe, despite the consequences,” said Moore. “I am terribly concerned for the repercussions of this leak and the broader dangers of an ideology in which the ends always justify the means. Much remains unknown about this draft opinion, and even if it is authentic, justices can change positions on cases up until the last minute. But nothing can change the fact that Roe was a horrendous, politically-charged decision by an activist court with, at best, weak Constitutional footing. It is my sincere hope that Roe is overturned and this country’s tragic and shameful era of the widespread and indiscriminate legal termination of the lives of millions of unborn children can start to be brought to a close. We don’t know how the next days and weeks will unfold, but with great conviction, I believe that our country needs our fervent prayer now more than ever.”

Alabama Democratic Chair and state Rep. Chris England, D-District 70. said the state’s Democratic lawmakers will continue to defend Alabamians’ freedom to make their own medical decisions.

“While the Alabama Republican supermajority keeps trying to turn the clock back decades on our freedoms Alabama Democrats and our 2022 candidates will defend Alabamians’ freedom to make their own medical decisions - especially their right to abortion. In the meantime, we need Democrats in Washington to act and pass laws that protect abortion access for all Americans.”

Biden blasts ‘radical’ Supreme Court abortion draft opinion, warns other rights threatened

Speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One, Biden said he hoped the draft wouldn’t be finalized by justices, contending it reflects a “fundamental shift in American jurisprudence” that threatens “other basic rights” like access to birth control and marriage.

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday the decision could potentially imperil several rights.
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Alabama House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-District 24, said the state was “well-positioned” should the Supreme Court overturn Roe.

“If the final U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Mississippi case challenging Roe v. Wade resembles the draft that was leaked to the press, Alabama will be well-positioned to quickly end abortion within our borders. In 2018, voters overwhelmingly ratified a constitutional amendment officially declaring Alabama a pro-life state, and soon after, our Republican Legislature passed the nation’s strongest law protecting unborn life from abortion. Alabama stands ready to take immediate action if the Supreme Court ultimately overturns Roe and allows states to once again determine abortion-related matters.”

Alabama U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-District 4, noted that while he would support the draft’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, he noted that such a decision would not make abortion illegal.

“Let’s be clear, though. The overturning of Roe will not make abortion illegal. It will simply leave the legality up to each individual state. While this will certainly reduce abortions by a great number, there will sadly still be thousands of abortions in states where it will remain legal. I’m glad to say Alabama will not be one of them.

“Regardless of the decision, we must continue to fight to protect the lives of our unborn children. And as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I will continue to support meaningful alternatives to abortion.”

Alabama U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-District 5, praised the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Abortion has been a stain on America since the Supreme Court incorrectly decided Roe in 1973. If reports are accurate, justice will soon be served. For the first time in almost five decades, a Supreme Court ruling on abortion will reflect medical and scientific fact: life is sacred and it begins at conception.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden issued a statement noting that while it’s unclear if the draft is genuine, his administration is supportive of a woman’s right to choose an abortion.

Chief Justice John Roberts has since confirmed the draft’s authenticity and has ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.” It is unclear if the Supreme Court draft represents the court’s final word since it is still in the drafting process.

Twenty-six states could ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Sixteen states, meanwhile, have protected access to abortion in state law.

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