Politico has published what appears to be a draft opinion written by Justice Alito and supported by the current court’s four other most conservative justices that overturns Roe v. Wade.
The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document, labeled as the “Opinion of the Court.” “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
The era of “shocked, but not surprised” continues. The end of abortion rights in the United States was basically decided once RBG passed away while Trump was president, but it’s no less horrific to see such an about-face. I fully expected this illegitimate and grossly out-of-step court to restrict abortion without actually overturning Roe, it’s truly shocking to see just how far they appear to have gone.
The implications of the apparent ruling will dominate the news for the foreseeable future and inevitably devolve into handwringing about the draft leak or the politics of it all. Meanwhile actual people will continue to suffer and half the nation will be consigned to a lower status.
Late last year, Dahlia Lithwick detailed why 2022 will not be like 1972:
We are not in fact moving “backward” to life before Roe. We are more likely moving sideways into a fundamentalist religious regime in which life pre-Roe will come to look like a vastly less terrifying option than a world in which women are subject to revanchist religious claims—claims with no support whatsoever in the Constitution—about the lives they may carry, the unknown crimes they may commit, and the choices they are no longer permitted to make.