By Tara Thompson
Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court where the Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction, is now under attack. A leaked initial draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito claims that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start…. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” The court’s decision will not be final until it is published in about two months. This is the first time a court opinion has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending. Four of the appointed justices: Clarence Thomas (R), Neil Gorsuch (R), Brett Kavanaugh (R) and Amy Coney Barrett (R) have voted with Alito.
Alito argues that the 1973 abortion rights ruling was an ill-conceived and deeply flawed decision that invented a right mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. “The inescapable conclusion is that a right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the Nation’s history and traditions,” Alito writes. The overturning of Roe would almost immediately lead to stricter limits on abortion access in large groups of the South and Midwest. The court ruled that a state could regulate the procedure during the second trimester and even ban it in most circumstances in the third. Though with about half of the states set to immediately impose abortion bans, any state could still legally allow the procedure.
California Governor, Gavin Newsom, expressed outrage over the leaked U.S. Supreme Court abortion document, saying the court appears to be making a decision that would roll back constitutional rights. “This is about controlling women. We know that, historically, it has been,” Newsom said, “It’s guys that look like me that are disproportionately deciding these decisions,” Newsom added. “I think folks should really be pissed off at this moment.”
Newsom made these comments while standing with women carrying Planned Parenthood signs during a news conference held at one of the non-profit’s Los Angeles locations. Newsom assured residents that California already has some of the most expansive abortion protections in the country, and the state will protect the abortion rights of women and girls in California. “Their loved ones, their family members, can get on Southwest or JetBlue, and come to one of those blue states,” Newsom said. California will continue to be a safe place for people, whether they need to get an abortion safely or just need a place to stay, our state will be open to any and everyone in need.