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The Supreme Court has voted to strike down Roe v. Wade, according to a draft opinion leaked to Politico. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the draft majority opinion arguing that abortion is not in the Constitution and should be left to states to decide.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in late June or early July.
While draft opinions may change, the conservative majority of the court has made such a challenge to the 1973 abortion rights law, and to a subsequent 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, foreseeable. Four other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – reportedly voted with Alito.
Mississippi brought the challenge, joined by other states. The justices heard oral arguments in December.
WHY IT MATTERS
President Joe Biden has blasted the opinion, while saying it’s not yet known whether the draft is genuine or reflects the final decision of the court.
“At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” Biden said.
Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said, “Patients make their own decisions about their own bodies. That’s their right. I strongly believe in protecting and promoting access to healthcare — that includes sexual and reproductive healthcare, and that includes safe and legal abortion care. Abortion remains legal today and patients can access care. The laws we have seen coming out of states that deny care are dangerous.”
Planned Parenthood said on its website that abortions remain legal.
THE LARGER TREND
HHS under the Biden Administration has taken steps to protect and bolster reproductive health and reproductive health rights, including launching an HHS Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access and issuing a final rule for Title X, the nation’s family planning program.
HHS awarded $256.6 million in grant funding to restore access to Title X services nationwide and announced $6.6 million through the Title X family planning program to address the demand for family planning services where restrictive laws and policies have impacted reproductive health access.
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