DALLAS — An unprecedented leak suggests a majority of the Supreme Court justices are in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.
A draft opinion obtained by the political news site, Politico, indicates a possible ruling on the 1973 case that made abortions legal nationwide.
The draft was written in February and is not a final opinion. A final decision is expected in June or July of this year.
Justices can and sometimes do change their votes, and multiple drafts can be written until days before a final decision.
In the meantime, leaders across Texas and various organizations have released statements on the leaked draft and what it could mean for residents.
This story will be updated as more statements are released.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
"If accurate that Roe v. Wade is set to be overturned, this is a great day for life. Media reports estimate that as many as 62 million innocent babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court decided Roe in 1973. Texas has already taken decisive action on this issue. Not only did the Texas Legislature pass the Heartbeat Bill that has already saved thousands of innocent babies since becoming law last September, we also passed the Trigger Bill, which I made a top priority last session. A Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe adheres to the Constitution and returns the decision on abortion back to the states as mandated by the 10th Amendment. The Trigger Bill ensures that if Roe is overturned, abortion is banned in Texas. Our Trigger Bill protects the mother from any criminal or civil penalty. If a doctor attempts an abortion, it is a second degree felony. If the baby dies, that doctor would face a first degree felony. I am sure the left will fight to allow abortion in Texas. They will not win that fight. We are steadfastly a pro-life state and have made tremendous efforts to support women in their decision to choose life. I have led the charge to more than double funding for our Alternatives to Abortion program, which provides services to women who choose life. We will also continue to strengthen adoption programs in Texas and support families who welcome adopted children into their loving homes. Texas has led the way to protect innocent life in the womb, and we will continue to do so moving forward in the Texas Senate."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
"If this report is true, this is nothing short of a massive victory for life and will save the lives of millions of innocent babies. But while I continue to wait for the Supreme Court's ultimate opinion, I am appalled by the shocking breach of trust posed by this leak."
"This is a blatant attempt to intimidate the Court through public pressure rather than reasoned argument. I hope my fellow former clerks and the entire legal community will join me in denouncing this egregious breach of trust."
American Civil Liberties Union
"If the Supreme Court does indeed issue a majority opinion along the lines of the leaked draft authored by Justice Alito, the shift in the tectonic plates of abortion rights will be as significant as any opinion the Court has ever issued. It would deprive half the nation of a fundamental, constitutional right that has been enjoyed by millions of women for nearly 50 years. The breach in protocol at the Court pales in comparison to the breach in constitutional freedoms that the Court is charged with upholding. However the decision ultimately comes down, the ACLU will never stop fighting for a person's right to choose when and if to have a child."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins
On Twitter: "It’s unprecedented to leak an early @SCOTUSblog draft of a n (sic) opinion like this. If this is true, not only is a woman’s right to determine her on pregnancy healthcare gone in Republican states, but a host of rights to privacy are in grave risk too."
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
On Twitter: "I hope that #SCOTUS returns the question of abortion where it belongs: the States. This is why I led a 24-state coalition in support of MS’s law banning them after 15 wks. I’ll con’t to ensure that TX protects the unborn & pray for the end of abortion across our nation.#ProLife"
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
"Let's be clear: Abortion is legal. It is still your right."
"This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. While we have seen the writing on the wall for decades, it is no less devastating, and comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide. Understand that Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight. Planned Parenthood health centers remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion."
Beto O'Rourke (Democratic candidate for Texas governor)
"Every woman deserves the freedom to make their own decisions about their body, health care, and future. It’s never been more urgent to elect a governor who will always protect a woman’s right to abortion."
Texas Right to Life
"We are encouraged by the categorical boldness of the draft that corrects the erroneous precedent of Roe. We prayerfully anticipate the complete reversal of Roe, giving authority to protect preborn children back to the states. However, the outcome is not final. A leak this big is unprecedented and could have been an attempt to sway the decision. We expect pro-abortion radicals to attempt to intimidate the justices from protecting preborn children in this manner. Pro-Life advocates must continue to pray, especially for the justices' fortitude, until the court officially issues a decision."
Center for Reproductive Rights
“We don't know if the document as reported by Politico is legitimate, and we don't know if it represents the views of a majority of the Supreme Court. What we do know is that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade it will be an unjustified, unprecedented stripping away of a guaranteed right that has been in place for nearly five decades. It would represent the most damaging setback to the rights of women in the history of our country.
“It’s important to remember that the Court has not yet issued a decision and abortion remains legal in the United States.”
Republican National Committee (RNC)
“The leak from the Supreme Court is extremely alarming and the Court deserves to deliberate without intimidation. Democrats are showing once again how extreme they really are on abortion, pushing taxpayer-funded, on demand, and unlimited abortion up until the moment of birth and after. Their position on abortion is radical, cruel, and anti-science. The far left wants unelected judges to impose a radical, one-size fits all abortion policy, leaving Americans without a voice. The Republican Party will always stand for the sanctity of life, speak up for the unborn, and protect vulnerable mothers.”