U.S. Likely to Allow States to Protect Unborn Children from Abortion
Thursday, May 12, 2022

An unprecedented leak of the majority Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case challenging the state of Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy— has revealed that the U.S. Supreme Court appears ready to overrule two past abortion decisions recognizing abortion as a constitutional right thereby restoring authority to state legislators to enact laws on abortion.

The draft opinion, dated February 2022, indicates that the Court had voted 5-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade which established a constitutional right to abortion and restricted states' rights to ban abortion, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey which ruled that restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if they create an “undue burden” on access to abortion.

Justice Alito writes: “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

As explained in the opinion, “In some States, voters may believe that the abortion right should be more even more [sic] extensive than the right Casey and Roe recognized. Voters in other States may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an ‘unborn human being.’ ... Our nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.”

The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions. On the contrary, an unbroken tradition of prohibiting abortion on pain of criminal punishment persisted from the earliest days of the common law until 1973.”

“In this case, 26 States have expressly asked us to overrule Roe and Casey and return the issue of abortion to the people and their elected representatives.”

Politico, the news source for the leak, reports that conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted with Samuel Alito after the original hearing in December while Chief Justice Roberts was uncommitted. The three liberal Democratic-appointed justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are believed to be working on dissent opinions.

The draft majority opinion declares that overturning Roe would not jeopardize other rights that courts have grounded in privacy which pro-abortion and other opponents have claimed.

Alito asserts, “We emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”

If the final opinion is similar to the Alito draft, the Court would rule in favor of Mississippi and its ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and would restore the authority to determine laws on abortion to individual states.

Caution is urged against assuming that the leaked draft is the final draft, as there could be other drafts and justices can change their votes.

Chief Justice confirms draft is authentic, Court is set to meet

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document and explained that an investigation has been launched to find the source of the leak: “To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”

According to Politico, the Supreme Court is set to gather Thursday, May 12, for the first time since the leaked opinion and “there’s no sign that the court is changing course from issuing that ruling by the end of June.”

It also claims, “Justice Samuel Alito’s sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion from February overturning Roe remains the court’s only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case,…and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes. No dissenting draft opinions have circulated from any justice, including the three liberals.”

Biden-Harris respond

When asked about the leaked opinion, President Biden gave an unscripted response which revealed that he understands that abortion involves the life of a child.

Biden said, “I mean, so the idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think, goes way overboard.”

He also expressed a factually incorrect view that contradicts his declared Catholic faith. Biden said that the beginning of life remains a question:

"Look, think what Roe says. Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded — that the right — that the existence of a human life and being is a question. Is it at the moment of conception? Is it six months? Is it six weeks? Is it — is it quickening, like Aquinas argued?”

Biden ignored the Catechism of the Catholic Church: which teaches in the #2270: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

Vice President Harris in her response, repeated pro-abortion verbiage saying,

"What is clear is that opponents of Roe want to punish women and take away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women."

“The rights of all Americans are at risk. If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life. This is the time to fight for women and for our country with everything we have.”

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen gave a shocking response during a Senate hearing when asked about the leaked opinion and said that Black women need access to abortion in order to be successful in the workforce and so they and their children can stay out of poverty. She said that eliminating access to abortion “…deprives them of the ability often to continue their education, to later participate in the workforce. So there is a spillover into labor force participation, but it means that children will grow up in poverty and do worse themselves.”

Sen. Tim Scott, a Black pro-life senator from South Carolina responded calling Yellen’s comments “callous” and said, “As a guy raised by a Black woman in abject poverty, I'm thankful to be here as a United States senator. I think because my circumstance is so like so many others — millions and millions of kids being raised in poverty by single-parent households who happened to be Black — telling Black teenage moms that there's only one alternative for them is a depressing and challenging message.”

Pro-Life caucuses respond to the opinion

The founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, Sen. Steve Daines, responded to the leaked opinion stating that if the decision stands “this is the answer, I think, to the prayers of so many millions and millions who have prayed vigilantly for this moment.”

"This is a moment to right historic injustice, to reverse what was a terrible opinion by the 1973 Supreme Court. This will be a fundamental transfer of power — assuming the decision holds up — from the courts back to the American people and elected officials, and that's where it belongs,” he said.

Rep. Chris Smith, Congressional Pro-Life Caucus chair, said that overturning the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide would signal a new phase — not the culmination — of pro-life efforts to protect the unborn:

"This is a new phase. It’s not the end, it’s the beginning of a national debate on abortion, and for the first time ever, the child will be paramount. If the leaked draft opinion resembles the yet-to-be-seen final opinion it would be ‘an engraved invitation to legislate’ abortion.”

Smith also cautioned that the decision “goes both ways” and while a growing number of states are passing laws to curtail abortion, others are moving in the opposite direction with some even exceeding Roe.

Pro-Life leaders respond

The pro-life movement is hopeful that nearly 50 years after abortion on demand throughout pregnancy was legalized, states may soon determine their own laws on abortion as the democratic process in regards to abortion is restored. Pro-life leader responses include the following.

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities responded to the leaked opinion with a call to prayer and redoubled efforts to help pregnant women and couples:

"As Catholics, we care about every unborn child and every mother. Our Church has consistently witnessed in word and deed that life begins at the moment of conception. As the bishops shared in our statement Standing with Moms in Need: we pledge ‘to redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and during the early years of parenthood, offering them loving and compassionate care through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need and countless others'."

Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told Lifenews,

"We remain optimistic that the Supreme Court will reverse Roe in the Dobbs case. But Supreme Court decisions are not communicated by leaks, especially those intended to intimidate the Justices. This is a moment when we should pray that the Justices who are ready to reverse Roe will stay the course and not be distracted or deterred. The decision needs to be based on the Constitution, not public pressure or confusion.”

SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said about the leaked opinion,

"The American people have the right to act through their elected officials to debate and enact laws that protect unborn children and honor women. If Roe is indeed overturned, our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children and women in every legislature.”

"We also recognize the need for the pro-life movement to continue its existing work to support pregnant women and children in need.”

Senate defeats advance of radical pro-abortion bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a procedural vote to allow S.1975  Women’s Health Protection Act, known as the Abortion-Without-Limits-Until Birth Act, to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. The measure was defeated by 51 votes against and 49 in favor. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote with all Republicans against the measure.

Senator Manchin said about the bill,

"Make no mistake, it is not Roe v. Wade codification. It is an expansion, it wipes 500 state laws off the books, it expands abortion, and with that, that's not where we are today. We should not be dividing this country further than we're already divided, and it's really the politics of Congress that's dividing the country."

Vice President Harris presided as President of the Senate, ready to cast the deciding vote in favor of the bill in the event of a tie. Nearly identical legislation also failed in February, but Senator Schumer suggested that the Court’s draft opinion, may have “changed the landscape” in favor of the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said,

"Democrats could not have written more extreme legislation. It is chilling that anyone would write legislation like this in 2022 ...The American people need to see what the far left has become.”

The House had already passed the bill which states, “allows people who are pregnant to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their lives.” 

Speaker Pelosi calls opinion “monstrous”

Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, released a statement— Pelosi Statement on Reported Supreme Court Assault on Reproductive Rights—in which she called the Alito draft “monstrous” and “a sweeping and severe restriction of Americans’ rights”.

She said, “With it, Trump, McConnell and Republicans in Congress have assaulted privacy, precedent and the Constitution. Make no mistake: by striking down Roe v. Wade, the Court would pave the way for Republicans to obliterate even more of our freedoms. As drafted, Justice Alito’s argument — that women are not entitled to basic human rights today because they have been denied those rights for generations — is alarming and extremist. This draft ruling offers a dangerous blueprint for future assaults on some of our most cherished rights, which are rooted in the long-held constitutional right to privacy.”

Pelosi also claimed that “this draft ruling would seriously erode the legitimacy of the Supreme Court in the eyes of the American people.”  

Abortion Activists respond with protests and destruction of property

In response to the leaked draft opinion, abortion activists engaged in protests, including illegal protests at the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices whose addresses they posted online, and at Catholic churches and other locations around the country. A number of Catholic churches were vandalized while others have received bomb threats leading to increased security.

Pro-life pregancy centers and pro-life offices have been targeted including a pro-life office in Wisconsin that was firebombed by a group of abortion activists calling themselves Jane’s Revenge which promised it was adopting “increasingly extreme tactics to maintain control over their own bodies”.

In Virginia, “Fake Clinic,” “Liars” and “Abortion Is A Right” slogans were painted on the walls and doors of a pro-life pregnancy center. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares decried the vandalism at the Life First pregnancy resource center in Manassas, Virginia and said, “It is never acceptable to resort to intimidation, vandalism, or destruction in our political discourse. This is what makes America so unique – we should embrace diversity of opinion and civil dialogue and debate.”

A national pro-abortion protest—Bans Off Our Bodies— is being organized by Planned Parenthood Federation of American, and other pro-abortion organizations, for May 14 in Washington, D.C. with smaller protests throughout the U.S.

Post Roe impact on state laws

If the leaked majority opinion resembles the final, states legislators will enact laws and policies reflecting both pro-life and pro-abortion views with greater urgency. According to National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), in a “post-Roe landscape” 18 states would protect unborn children immediately through either existing pre-Roe laws or “trigger” laws banning abortion that would take effect following Roe’s reversal, or both: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Some pro-life laws also currently exist in Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia that may possibly provide some immediate protection for unborn children and their mothers, but have no explicit prohibitions of abortion.

NRLC also reports that twenty-three states would allow abortion either through legislatively-enacted statute or court ruling interpreting the state constitution to convey the right to abortion: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Pro-life leaders in Latin America are hopeful

It is expected that there will be a global impact if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe. Pro-life leaders in Latin America are hopeful after hearing the news of the leaked majority opinion. According to ACI Prensa, Jesús Magaña, president of the pro-life platform United for Life in Colombia, commented that if the leak turns out to be the final decision, "it would be a victory for the pro-life movement" and it would be recognized that the 1973 ruling "was an extremely serious mistake that has cost the lives, in the United States alone, of more than 60 million human beings.”

He explains that the 1973 decision “has a very big effect, especially on the American continents. In Latin America, court rulings in the United States are looked at very carefully, and in the case of Roe v. Wade, the ruling exerted pressure for abortion to be decriminalized in many of our countries and continues to do so to this day.”

Reversing the ruling he says, "would have positive effects in Latin America in favor of life."

In Ecuador, Martha Villafuerte, national director of the Ecuador Family association, said that news of the leaked opinion had "a very hopeful impact." She said, “The news was a wake up call, because while Ecuador bows its head to the abortion agenda, the United States is fighting in a firm, consistent and head-on way. It’s all or nothing. That’s the strength that we must replicate so our Constitutional Court reverses the decriminalization of abortion.”

In Peru, the director of the Origin Association in Peru, Giuliana Caccia, commented that if Roe is overturned, it would “pull out the rug” from under "all the laws (and bills) that base their arguments on this judicial precedent, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. She noted that Roe v. Wade strengthened for decades the "narrative that abortion is a human right," which can be seen by "the strategy that the pro-abortion lobby has implemented throughout these decades, creating supranational and pseudo-scientific jurisprudence to promote its agenda.”

For Caccia, it’s a matter of time before the “truth comes to light.” She explains, “The most incredible thing about this case is that Norma McCorvey, the famous 'Jane Roe' in the decision, said that the story that gave rise to her case was false: she wasn’t raped and her testimony was manipulated by the activist lawyers who moved forward with the case.”

The campaign director for CitizenGO in Argentina, Silvina Spataro, said that the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned is cause for “great joy” because the ruling is "unjust and based on a bogus case."

"This news is a big step for all pro-lifers! It has to give us strength to continue fighting to reverse the criminal abortion laws in our countries and continue working to raise awareness about the value of human life from conception to natural death,” Spataro said.