BillyPenn: ‘Fight like hell’: How Philly and Pa. officials are reacting to the Supreme Court abortion leak

Politico on Monday night leaked a draft of a United States Supreme Court opinion that indicates the nation’s highest court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that has guaranteed the right to an abortion in the U.S. for nearly five decades.

The court’s ruling, if it matches the leaked draft opinion, would immediately “end a half-century guarantee of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and allow each state to decide whether to restrict or ban abortion,” according to Politico. Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the draft, according to NPR, but reiterated that it’s not final.

As of right now, abortion is still legal in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation, since the court hasn’t officially released an opinion. And unlike more than a dozen other U.S. states, Pennsylvania does not currently have a “trigger” law on the books that would instantly restrict abortion once federal protections are removed.

In the leaked document, Justice Samuel Alito calls the reasoning in Roe “exceptionally weak” and says the 1973 opinion has had “damaging consequences.” The draft opinion would also strike down Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 decision — based on a case that originated in Pennsylvania — that largely reaffirmed Roe but created further standards for determining when abortions can be limited.

Pennsylvania’s and Philadelphia’s elected officials are weighing in on the possible decision, with Democratic leaders noting the importance of fighting at all levels of government and using a variety of strategies to counter anti-abortion efforts.

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans

Evans underscored the “urgency” of abolishing the filibuster to codify abortion rights federally through the Women’s Health Protection Act.