Updated May 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy
Axios Explains: Abortion

Dashboard: The latest on Roe v. Wade and abortion

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios
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The Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a leaked draft document first published by Politico.

Driving the news: Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked Supreme Court draft document on the end of Roe v. Wade, but said it did not represent the court's final decision.

Roberts said the court will open an investigation into the leak.

  • The document was authored by Justice Samuel Alito in February and according to Politico, Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all voted with Alito.
  • “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the draft states.
  • "We can only do our job, which is to interpret the law, apply longstanding principles of stare decisis, and decide this case accordingly. We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives," per the draft.
  • These draft documents don't reflect final vote tallies, but Republican-appointed justices have a 6-3 advantage on the court.
  • The decision should be released sometime within the next two months and Roe is still currently the law though many red states have pushed ahead with abortion bans, confident the new measures will stand.

The big picture: If the Supreme Court were to overturn its precedents, abortion access would no longer be federally protected and instead a patchwork of state laws would govern the procedure, writes Axios' Oriana Gonzalez.

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