Leaked Supreme Court draft reveals possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade

Students gather to protest on May 3, 2022, after documents leaked from the Supreme Court about the future of the Roe v. Wade case. (Margaret Latenser | Collegian Media Group)

The U.S Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to an opinion draft written by Justice Samuel Alito, which Politico discovered. CNN said the court’s public affairs office has confirmed the document published by Politico is authentic.

Roe v. Wade has been in place since 1973, and Alito’s draft said the court would overturn Roe v. Wade’s holding of a federal constitutional right to abortion.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote in the draft. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Politico said this unprecedented breach of security in the U.S. Supreme Court will intensify the debate surrounding the controversial topic of legal abortion. The debate is vibrant at Kansas State, as students share their thoughts and opinions via social media and word of mouth.

Kate Weisner, freshman in human development and family sciences, said she was overjoyed after hearing the news but did not want to get her hopes up.

“I was at daily Mass when our priest told us the news, and I was excited yet skeptical because this is something the church has been fighting for and working towards for so long,” Weisner said. “I grew up Catholic, and I believe very strongly in the dignity of life and standing up for those who do not have a voice.”

Miranda Wagner, junior in biology and pre-medicine, had the opposite reaction.

“Hearing the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned made me scared for the future of women and children in America,” Wagner said. “My biggest concern would be the lack of resources available to women who have become pregnant through non-consensual sexual interactions.”

(Margaret Latenser | Collegian Media Group)
(Margaret Latenser | Collegian Media Group)

Wagner said she is disappointed to see women’s rights shift backward.

“Women throughout history have fought hard to earn the right to equal pay, and not be discriminated against,” Wagner said. “It makes me sad to think about the possibility of fighting to make decisions about my own body.”

Weisner said she believes that pro-life is pro-women.

“The pro-life movement gives women the option to be a mom and also the option for adoption,” Weisner said. “Adoption is important, and so many families want to adopt and raise children.”

Brooklynn Bennett, sophomore in agricultural economics, said she feels indifferent.

“I’ve always felt conflicted about this issue because, as a Christian, I believe abortion is morally wrong,” Bennett said. “At the same time, I know the government can’t stop abortions from happening, so I do not think it should be completely illegal.”

In his draft, Alito said, even after being in place for almost 50 years, the 1973 abortion rights ruling was an ill-conceived and deeply flawed decision that invented a right mentioned nowhere in the Constitution.

T.C. Levi, senior in open option, said she does not understand the logic Alito presented.

“Our judicial system treats historical precedent as so valuable until it is championed by the same populations and communities that they are supposed to be representing,” Levy said. “If you are representing a population who has to express genuine outrage after every piece of legislation you publish, then you are not representing that population anymore.”

(Margaret Latenser | Collegian Media Group)
(Margaret Latenser | Collegian Media Group)

Levi attended a pro-choice protest in front of the Manhattan Courthouse on May 3, along with Jaydin Coleman, senior in gender, women and sexuality studies.

“We are here because we support basic human rights,” Coleman said at the protest. “A lot of people do not realize it is a state-by-state thing, so in Kansas, there is hope because we do not have a trigger ban in act.”

According to Newsweek, a trigger ban is a preemptive abortion ban that would move to quickly ban or weaken abortion access in a state if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Bennett said she thinks Roe V. Wade should be overturned because it would become a state-by-state issue.

“If it is overturned, then states get to choose how to regulate it, so in some states, things will not change at all,” Bennett said. “Most importantly, I just want mothers and babies to be safe.”

Time said the U.S Supreme Court is set to make a final ruling on the case before its term concludes at the end of June. If the vote results in overturning Roe v. Wade, it will become a state-by-state issue.

Kansans will vote on Aug. 2 to determine whether or not an amendment saying there is no right to abortion in the state constitution will be in place. Coleman said to vote in the election, you must register by July 12.

More information on how this news affects Kansans is available through KMUW.