Draft shows SCOTUS plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, Maine officials react

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 2:40 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A draft opinion suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

That’s according to a Politico report released Monday.

A decision to overrule Roe would lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states and could have huge ramifications for this year’s elections.

But it’s unclear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter - opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process.

A Supreme Court spokeswoman said the court had no comment.

The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process.

Meanwhile, Governor Janet Mills reacted to the news on Monday night, saying in part:

“I want to be very clear: unlike an apparent majority of the Supreme Court, I do not consider the rights of women to be dispensable. As long as I am Governor, I will fight with everything I have to protect reproductive rights and to preserve access to reproductive health care.”

Gov. Janet Mills

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree also tweeted her response.

“I share the feelings of outrage, fear, and utter shock that millions of women across the country are experiencing right now. If this draft Supreme Court opinion is genuine and Roe v. Wade is overturned, a deeply partisan court will be undoing nearly 50 years of an established right to body autonomy.

“In every state in the nation, 70% of Americans oppose a federal ban on abortion care. A ban on abortions will not stop abortions—it will stop safe reproductive care. In a pre-Roe America, women died because they didn’t have access to basic reproductive health care. I never thought that we’d turn back the clock to that dark time.

“The government shouldn’t be able to tell anyone what to do with their own bodies. If you can’t force someone to donate blood, you can’t force someone into pregnancy.

“By passing the Women’s Health Protection Act, House Democrats stepped up to defend reproductive rights and ensure Constitutional rights aren't limited by income or zip code, but until it passes the Senate, we will be looking to states to stand up for abortion care. In Maine, we have laws that explicitly protect reproductive rights and we’re fortunate that Governor Mills is committed to upholding Roe.

“The bottom line is that, until a final decision is released, abortion is still legal in the United States and Maine.”

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine)

Senator Collins has released the following statement:

“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office. Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Senator King has also put out a statement:

“If accurate, the draft Supreme Court ruling circulated last night would be a dangerous, seismic shift in which the Court overturns half a century of established precedent and overrides the most basic, private rights of half the nation. The decision being considered in this preliminary draft would eliminate a longstanding fundamental right supported by 64 percent of Maine people and 70 percent of Americans in one fell swoop. The result: millions of women would be robbed of the right to make vital, lifesaving healthcare decisions with the support of medical professionals. I’m also deeply worried that this draft opinion could invite challenges to other longstanding precedents, including marriage rights for same-sex or interracial couples.

“A potential ruling that ends abortion protections would be appalling, but also firmly aligned with the clear long-term goals of conservative legal leaders; in fact, former President Trump explicitly stated he would only nominate justices who would ‘automatically’ overturn Roe. While we do not yet know the final ruling, Congress must be prepared to take legislative action to enshrine Roe into law.”

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

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