Roe v. Wade in Jeopardy


Picture of Pro-life protesters from Creative Commons.

On May 2nd, Politico, a political journalism source, published Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito’s draft to overturn Roe v. Wade,  the landmark case that granted women access to have an abortion during their first trimester. The next day, the Court authenticated the leak.  


According to The Washington Post, five of the Supreme Court justices: Sameul Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, agreed upon overturning Roe v. Wade and it is likely that they will use Justice Alito’s draft as a roadmap of how they may overturn it. 

This information was met with strong opinions on both sides. When senior Elena Cusat, President of the Woodgrove for Women club, initially heard about the draft, she felt “mainly frustration and a little bit of bitterness because I feel we’ve come so far only to get set back.”

Photo of Pro-choice protestors from Creative Commons.

This is the opposite of what Junior Marissa Friedl, President of Woodgrove’s Right to Life club, felt: “When I heard about the draft, I was super excited. This is big news for the pro-life movement; hearing that the Supreme Court might overturn Roe is a huge milestone!”


Though the court did confirm the authenticity of the leak, Justice Alito’s draft has not ye been finalized. Cusat believes that with America’s current political climate and the majority of the court being conservative, they will have success in overturning Roe v. Wade. She believes it will put a lot of people in bad situations: “It’s going to disproportionately target poor communities and people of color.”


Both Friedl and Cusat fear that if the draft is passed it will polarize the country even further, but Friedl feels that it is a “just action, since there is not a constitutional right to abortion.” 


Thirteen states have trigger-laws in place, with plans to immediately ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. These states include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.  All of these states have rules that allow women to obtain abortions if their life or health are in danger; however, most do not make exceptions if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. 


Cusat and Friedl believe that if Roe is overturned, then the government should improve the foster system. Cusat believes in preventive measures such as schools giving better sex education and providing access to affordable contraceptives. Friel believes in more reactive measures like the government giving funds to health care centers and making the adoption process easier.


On May 11th, the Senate voted on a bill that would protect abortion nationwide; however, the bill was not passed, so it will not go into effect.

According to Politico, the Court will meet over several sessions and is expected to make decisions on all non-resolved cases, including implications for Roe v. Wade, by the end of June.