"This is the news we have been waiting for for 50 years." That's how pro-life activist Abby Johnson responded Monday night to a bombshell leaked majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Supreme Court case.
And Johnson's reaction is spot-on. The language of the leaked draft opinion, which Justice Samuel Alito wrote, indicates the court could overturn Roe v. Wade and substantially transform the abortion landscape.
Naturally, the leaked document — an unprecedented happening before the official release of U.S. Supreme Court decisions — is only adding to the typically nuclear nature of the abortion wars.
As for Johnson, who was once a pro-choice Planned Parenthood clinic director before becoming a pro-life champion, she said it is "truly exciting" to see where the court might be headed.
"The majority opinion overturning Roe means that over a dozen states will be abortion-free due to their trigger laws," she said. "The battle to make abortion unthinkable will become more intense as blue states seek to codify abortion until birth while red states seek to protect life from its very beginning."
But Johnson also offered a caution many are mirroring in the wake of the document leak: justices can change their minds and votes before official opinions are released, meaning the draft version is anything but final.
"We still have a lot of work to do: we must pray for the Justices, we must fund pregnancy resource centers, we must work nonstop to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy [who] don't know where to turn, and we must support paid family leave and policies to support families, not tear them apart," she said. "I am hopeful that in the near future, we may live in a nation where abortion is unthinkable."
Conversely, some liberals are openly panicking over what a potential overturning of Roe means not only for abortion but also for gay rights, among other issues.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) extended her warning beyond abortion rights, invoking concerns over other "civil rights" issues.
"As we've warned, SCOTUS isn't just coming for abortion — they're coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights," she tweeted.
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined the frustrated chorus to call the draft decision a "disgrace." She also warned "it will kill women" to overturn Roe.
"Not surprising. But still outrageous," she wrote. "This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law. It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal. What an utter disgrace."
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