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Swift reaction after Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion leaked

Supreme Court Abortion Texas
Posted at 5:03 PM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 23:10:04-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — Swift reaction is still pouring in after a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that indicates a majority of the justices are ready to overturn Roe versus Wade was leaked to the public.

The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the draft opinion is authentic however, the court cautioned the decision draft opinion is not final.

But Tuesday President Joe Biden says he's "concerned" that after almost 50 years a woman's right to choose is on the line at the nation's highest court. And the Women's March is already calling on supporters to hit the streets and join rallies across the country. Hundreds of activists took the fight directly to the Supreme Court plaza in Washington, D.C.

"They are not going to get away with this. Let me say I don't care what I have to do," said Rev. Wendy Hamilton, a pro-abortion rights protestor.

Chief Justice Roberts directed the marshal of the court to investigate the unprecedented leak calling it an "egregious breach" of trust.

23ABC In-Depth: What would be the impact on CA if Roe v. Wade is overturned?

Meanwhile, conservatives are focusing their anger on the rare leak. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell spoke out about the leak: "Somebody, likely somebody inside the court itself, leaked a confidential internal draft to the press. Almost certainly in an effort to stir up an inappropriate pressure campaign."

If the draft opinion stands it would mean a dramatic shift in reproductive rights in the country. Millions of American women could immediately lose their legal right to an abortion.

CDC data shows nearly 93-percent of abortions happen 13 weeks before a fetus can survive outside the womb. Women in their 20s account for more than half of abortions with more black women undergoing the procedure.

And a new ABC News-Washington Post poll shows a majority of Americans -- 54 percent -- do not support overturning Roe v. Wade.

Monday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom released the following statement:

“This draft opinion is an appalling attack on the rights of women across this country and if it stands, it will destroy lives and put countless women in danger. It will be the end of fundamental constitutional rights that American women have had for nearly 50 years.

“This is not an isolated incident, and it is not the end. We have a Supreme Court that does not value the rights of women, and a political minority that will stop at nothing to take those rights away. This won’t stop with choice and the right to privacy. They are undermining progress, and erasing the civil protections and rights so many have fought for over the last half century.

“I’m furious that my own daughters and sons could grow up in an America that is less free than the one they were born into. We have to wake up. We have to fight like hell. We will not be silenced.”

House Republican leader and local congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following joint statement reacting to the leak of the supreme court opinion:

“Yesterday’s unprecedented leak is an attempt to severely damage the Supreme Court. This clearly coordinated campaign to intimidate and obstruct the Justices of the United States Supreme Court, and its independence in our political system, from upholding the Constitution must be immediately investigated by the court.

“House Republicans are committed to upholding the sanctity of life, and we will continue to fight to be a voice for the truly voiceless. There is nothing more special, extraordinary, and worth fighting for than the miracle of life.

“We pray for the resolve of our Justices and for a decision that protects our most basic and precious right, the right to life.”

Politico, the news organization that published the draft statement, boosted security and warned its staff members to take extra care online following the news organization's major scoop in publishing a Supreme Court draft decision that would strike down the Roe v. Wade precedent for abortion rights.

The news organization says it has restricted access to its offices. While the company hasn't reported specific threats, its story was already the subject of rampant speculation — some of it malevolent — about its sources. The 15-year-old Politico is a well-known brand name for those who closely follow news of politics and government, and its scoop left organizations with bigger public footprints chasing it.