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Alabama legislators respond to leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on Roe v. Wade

Members of both political parties in Alabama were quick to respond to the document, which has been authenticated by Chief Justice John Roberts.

ALABAMA, USA — The response from Alabama Democratic and Republican officials to the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on Roe v. Wade was swift.

Chief Justice John Roberts said he had ordered an investigation into what he called the “egregious breach of trust" in leaking the draft document, which was dated to February. Opinions often change in ways big and small in the drafting process, and a final ruling has not been expected until the end of the court’s term in late June or early July.

Across the nation, Americans grappled with what might come next. The Democratic-controlled Congress and White House both vowed to try to blunt the impact of such a ruling, but their prospects looked dim.

A decision to overrule Roe would have sweeping ramifications, leading to abortion bans in roughly half the states, sparking new efforts in Democratic-leaning states to protect access to abortion, and potentially reshaping the contours of this year’s hotly contested midterm elections.

The draft was published by the news outlet Politico late Monday.

Responses from Alabama lawmakers:

Alabama State Democrats:

Statement from Rep. Chris England, Alabama Democrats Chair on the Supreme Court’s Pending Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade 

"According to tonight’s reporting, the Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, leaving laws regarding abortion access up to the states. Because of laws passed by our Republican legislature, abortion services will be illegal in Alabama - a felony that could force doctors to face up to 99 years in prison for providing medical care to their patients. 

Yet again, Republican legislators and appointed judges think they should be sitting between you and your doctor while making medical decisions. 

Republican politicians will claim this is a win for “life” in a state with high infant mortality rates, a Black maternal mortality crisis, and countless other public health crises. They refuse to expand Medicaid, providing free lifesaving healthcare access to Alabama families - or do anything else that actually sanctifies life for Alabamians. Now, their law will block abortion access in Alabama, negatively affecting women with the fewest resources the most. 

Some of our nation’s most consequential laws are written in state legislatures. This challenge started in the halls of the Mississippi legislature, and Democrats must remember this example of why local elections must be a central focus. What happens every day in Jackson or Montgomery can have national implications. 

While the Alabama Republican supermajority keeps trying to turn the clock back decades on our freedoms - Alabama Democrats and our 2022 candidates will defend Alabamians’ freedom to make their own medical decisions - especially their right to abortion. In the meantime, we need Democrats in Washington to act and pass laws that protect abortion access for all Americans."

Governor Kay Ivey:

Representative Terri Sewell (D- AL District 7):

The draft opinion by SCOTUS is a devastating blow to women’s reproductive rights. A woman’s personal health decisions should be made between her and her doctor. The Senate must pass the #WHPA so that women everywhere can access a full range of reproductive health care services.

Representative Gary Palmer (R-AL District 6)

Following the unauthorized release of a draft Supreme Court opinion regarding the Dobbs case, Rep. Gary Palmer released the following statement:

"On many occasions, I have made the statement that the greatest crisis now facing our nation is the loss of confidence in the institutions essential to the future well-being of our nation. Practically every institution from education, to health care, to government, has lost the trust of Americans. Now this unprecedented leak of a potential decision made by the Supreme Court regarding the Dobbs case has further eroded confidence in the Court," said Palmer.

Palmer continued, "In regard to the leaked draft, I believe Roe was wrongly decided and agree with the draft opinion of the court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Even liberal Supreme Court justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg believed Roe was too broad."

Palmer concluded, "To avoid chaos and further division about the law, the Court should immediately release the final decision.”


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