WASHINGTON — A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices shows that, according to a report published Monday night in Politico, earlier this year the majority of them voted in the 1973 Roe v. Wade’s case, which had legalized abortion nationwide. It is unclear whether the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter.
The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft posted by Politico, which when verified makes a shocking revelation of the high court’s secret deliberation process, especially before a case is formally decided.
The news outlet labeled the case as the “first draft” of the “court’s opinion” challenging Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks, known as the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling in the matter, and opinions — and even judges’ votes — have been known to change during the drafting process. The court is expected to rule on the matter before its term expires in late June or early July.
The draft is signed by Justice Samuel Alito, a member of the Court’s 6-3 conservative majority, who was appointed by former President George W.
“Roe was seriously wrong from the start,” the draft opinion said.
“We believe that Roe and Casey should be dismissed,” it refers to the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which affirmed Roe’s constitutional right to abortion services, but allowed states to impose certain constraints on the practice. allowed to keep. “It is time to pay attention to the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.”
The draft opinion, in effect, states that abortion services have no constitutional right and would allow individual states to more broadly regulate or outright restrict the procedure.
Politico said only that it “received a copy of the draft opinion, along with other details supporting the document’s authenticity, from a person familiar with court proceedings in the Mississippi case.”
Colorado has long recognized legal abortion without restrictions on when one can access abortion care early in pregnancy.
Sensing the Supreme Court action, Politico reported Monday night, state lawmakers earlier this year passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which guarantees abortion and other forms of reproductive health care in Colorado, even though Roe v. . Wade has been reversed. Governor Jared Polis signed the act into law on April 4.
The demand for abortion care in Colorado is sure to increase in the post-Roe future. U.S. states have “trigger laws” to ban abortions, if and when Roe v. Wade falls, many either share a border with or are close to Colorado: Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.
“We knew it could happen. We knew it was coming,” Colorado House Majority Leader Denya Esgar, a Pueblo Democrat who sponsored this year’s state legislation, said by phone Monday night. “We know there’s going to be states where people don’t have this access and we’re going to be the place they want to be. … I hope we have the capacity.”
Denver Post reporter Alex Burnes contributed to this report.