In a rare breach of confidentiality, Politico obtained what it says is a draft opinion showing the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that guaranteed a right to an abortion until the fetus could survive outside of the womb.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s leaked 98-page initial draft majority opinion, adding that “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.”
The justices have since December been mulling the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which takes on a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, posing a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a right to an abortion until fetal viability, generally understood by experts to mean 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Although experts expected that the high court would with the Dobbs case at least weaken if not overturn Roe, the leaked draft opinion is a stunning breach of confidentiality in the Supreme Court.
According to Politico, which received the draft from a person familiar with the Mississippi case and its authenticity, the draft opinion is subject to change. The draft, appearing to be written in February, may not reflect the court’s ultimate decision, which will not be finalized until it is published, likely in the next two months.
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito wrote.