The conservative majority on the Supreme Court appears to have voted to overturn abortion rights.
According to a draft majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, obtained by Politico, the conservative majority voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and Planned Parenthood v. Casey which upheld a right to have an abortion that was established under Roe.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he added. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
A person familiar with the court’s deliberations told Politico that justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted with Alito.
All three liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are preparing one or more dissents. It is not clear how Chief Justice John Roberts will vote or if he plans to join the opinion written by his fellow conservative justices or draft his own.
This comes after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a Mississippi abortion law case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade in December 2021. If the Alito draft is adopted, it would allow Mississippi state lawmakers to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and would likely lead to very strict abortion laws in Republican-controlled states.