Leaked Draft of US Supreme Court Opinion Would Overturn Roe v. Wade Outright

On May 2, Politico published a leaked draft of the Supreme Court majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that would explicitly overturn Roe v. Wade and 50 years of the Court’s own legal precedent upholding the constitutional right to abortion.

The draft opinion, written by Justice Alito, would openly overrule Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, stating that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start" and "we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled."

The draft opinion is not yet final and abortion remains legal in all 50 states, at least for now. But if the Court issues a similar decision to this draft version, Guttmacher’s state policy experts predict that 26 states are certain or likely to move quickly to ban abortion.

Statement from Dr. Herminia Palacio, Guttmacher Institute President and CEO

"The leaked opinion confirms what we had feared—that the anti-abortion ideologues on the US Supreme Court are poised to take the radical step of overturning Roe v. Wade outright.

"As of right now, abortion is still legal in all 50 states. But Roe alone was never enough to protect abortion rights and access, and the leaked US Supreme Court opinion foreshadows a future that will be dramatically worse.

"This news is not surprising, but shocking nevertheless—in its sweeping reach, its complete disregard for the rights, bodily autonomy and dignity of millions of people, and the chaos and uncertainty it will unleash on those seeking an abortion in many parts of the country.

"Guttmacher’s experts predict that without Roe, 26 states are certain or likely to quickly ban abortion to the fullest extent possible, in particular states clustered in the South, Midwest and the Plains.

"We know from decades of research that the impact will fall hardest on those who already struggle to access health care, including abortion.

"Even with Roe in place, affordable and accessible abortion care is a right that exists only on paper for many people who are marginalized and oppressed by structural inequities, including people with low incomes, Black and Brown communities and other people of color, and young people."