the Supreme Court could attack the right to abortion

These revelations could have the effect of a bomb. The United States Supreme Court is set to overturn a landmark ruling that has recognized the right to abortion in the United States for almost half a century. The Politico newspaper, which relies on an unpublished leak of documents, indicated in an article published late on Monday, May 2, that it had obtained the preliminary draft of a majority decision written by conservative judge Samuel Alito and dated of February 10.

Roe v. Wade, who in 1973 held that the US Constitution protected a woman’s right to abortion, was “completely unfounded from the start”according to this 98-page text which can be the subject of negotiations until June 30. “We believe that Roe v. Wade must be cancelled”writes Samuel Alito in this document, called “Opinion of the Court” and published on the Politico website. “Abortion is a deep moral issue”he believes.

This judge, appointed by George W. Bush in 2005 explains that “the Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each state from regulating or prohibiting abortion”. “The inescapable conclusion is that the right to abortion is not deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the Nation” he added. According to him, he “is not protected by any provision of the Constitution”.

Revamped by Trump

If this conclusion is accepted by the High Court, the United States will return to the situation in force before 1973 when each state was free to prohibit or authorize abortions. Given the significant geographical and political divisions on the subject, half of the states, especially in the South and the center, conservative and religious, should quickly banish the procedure on their soil. The Supreme Court has been profoundly overhauled by former Republican President Donald Trump who, in five years, brought in three judges, reinforcing his conservative majority: six judges out of nine.

Since September, this new Court has sent several favorable signals to opponents of abortion. She initially refused to prevent the entry into force of a Texas law which limits the right to an abortion to the first six weeks of pregnancy against two trimesters under the current legal framework. During the December review of a Mississippi law, which also questioned the legal deadline for an abortion, a majority of its magistrates made it clear that they were ready to nibble or even simply overturn Roe v. Wade.

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The document presented by Politico relates to this file. Its publication constitutes an extremely rare leak for the Supreme Court, where the secrecy of the deliberations has almost never been violated. “I’m pretty sure there has never been such a leak” to the Supreme Court, commented on Twitter the jurist Neal Katyal who has repeatedly pleaded for the government of Barack Obama before the high court. For him, “several signs” imply that the document is genuine. Asked by AFP, the Supreme Court declined to comment.

Spontaneous demonstrations

Without waiting for the official decision, hundreds of defenders of the right to abortion but also of people contesting this right met spontaneously in the evening in front of the white marble temple which houses the Supreme Court in Washington. In the chanting crowd “my body, my choice”Abby Korb, a 23-year-old student and parliamentary assistant, told AFP that she was “literally in shock”. For her, “Making abortions illegal isn’t going to end them, it’s just going to make them more dangerous”.

For her part, Claire Rowan, 55, a mother of seven children who came with some of them, does not hide her enthusiasm. She now hopes that people “ask God for forgiveness”so that the United States can ” heal “. Equally divided, the political class also reacted strongly to the Politico article.

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Several elected Democrats felt that he confirmed “emergency” enshrine the right to abortion in law. “We must protect the right to choose and enshrine Roe V. Wade in law”, tweeted Senator Amy Klobuchar in particular. A proposal to that effect passed the House of Representatives but is bogged down in the Senate due to fierce Republican opposition. On the contrary, they hailed a long-awaited victory. “This is the best and most important news of our lives”commented Representative Marjorie Taylor Green, while her colleague Josh Hawley called on the Court to publish ” right now “ its stop.

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