The Supreme Court’s Supreme Mishap: Abortion Draft Leak


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Panorama of United States Supreme Court Building at Dusk

Anna Maansson, Staff Reporter

On May 2, 2022, a draft majority opinion from the United States Supreme Court was leaked. No draft decision of the Supreme Court has been leaked while a case is still pending in modern history. The decision is not final. Justices can and occasionally do change their vote throughout many draft opinions. The official decision is expected at the end of June.

“We still don’t know, after the draft, when it’s finished what it will say,” Sandra Sloan, a retired high school teacher, said to the New York Times.

The impact of the ruling would affect all of the millions of people who can become pregnant. Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973. It gave women the right to choose to have an abortion legally. Before abortions were legalized, illegal abortions caused one in six deaths related to pregnancy.

“We’ve never been in a situation like this,” Christine Matthews said to the New York Times. She added, “We are in a situation where abortion rights are now being threatened in a way they haven’t been in nearly 50 years.”

The Pew Research Center recently published a study that discovered three in five Americans believe abortions should be legal in all or most circumstances. Most people wanted there to be some restrictions around abortions.

“There’s just so many gray areas,” Jessica Wood said while speaking to the New York Times. “I feel like people are just going to do it anyway [have an abortion]. So it might as well be safe and legal.”

If Roe v. Wade is overturned multiple states are ready to enact laws that would ban abortions. The New York Times reports that “15 states are likely to prohibit abortion” after Roe v. Wade. Other states will most likely restrict their abortion laws but not ban them completely. This will lead to many people having to travel long distances to get an abortion. The wait times in clinics have grown over the last year in states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada due to restrictions on abortions in Texas. The medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Dr. Kristina Tocce said, “Sometimes patients need to wait 2 to 3 weeks — and abortion care is extremely time sensitive,” when speaking to NPR.

In Delaware, abortion laws will most likely stay the same. Right now it is legal to get an abortion before the pregnancy is viable and the fetus can survive on its own. After a pregnancy is viable, abortion is only legal if there is a threat to the mother’s life or health or if there is a fetal abnormality. Additionally, Delaware recently passed a bill that allows for more health care providers to prescribe medication to abort pregnancies. 

When speaking on the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Katherine Lee ‘23 said, “It makes a lot of young women today (especially teens and women in college) unsure about the future, nervous, and not ready.”