The draft, which the Court refused to confirm or deny and which appears to date back to February, would reverse Roe v. Wade (1973) and allow the states to make their own laws on the hot-button issue of abortion. Since this is a draft, reported by Politico, and not an official signed opinion, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. Drafts circulate and change.
“If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement Monday.
“The Republican-appointed Justices’ reported votes to overturn Roe v. Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history,” Pelosi and Schumer added.
“Several of these conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the American people, have lied to the U.S. Senate, ripped up the Constitution and defiled both precedent and the Supreme Court’s reputation – all at the expense of tens of millions of women who could soon be stripped of their bodily autonomy and the constitutional rights they’ve relied on for half a century,” they continued.
“Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., an Independent who caucuses with Democrats and who twice finished as a runner-up in a Democratic presidential primary, tweeted. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also called for a law codifying Roe, blaming Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. for blocking the move.
“As we’ve warned, SCOTUS isn’t just coming for abortion – they’re coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Manchin is blocking Congress codifying Roe. House has seemingly forgotten about Clarence Thomas. These 2 points must change.”
Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee and a former first lady and Secretary of State, called the unconfirmed draft opinion “outrageous.”
“Not surprising. But still outrageous,” she tweeted. “This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace.”