Dozens of demonstrators converged on the Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 3) to express their support and opposition to a bombshell draft decision indicating the U.S. Supreme Court may overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Chanting “Pro-life is a lie. Babies never choose to die” and beating drums, opponents of abortion rights outnumbered advocates.
Democrats at the state and federal level and abortion rights activists looked for some way to head off the sweeping social change long sought by and Republicans and religious conservatives.
Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the draft opinion disclosed late on Monday (May 2). The Supreme Court declined to comment.
“Abortion saves lives,” abortion rights protesters chanted as they rallied outside the court in the pre-dawn hours against the decision, which would be a triumph for Republicans who spent decades building the court’s current 6-3 conservative majority.
Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics and has been for nearly a half-century. A 2021 Pew Research Center poll found that 59% of U.S. adults believed it should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% thought it should be illegal in most or all cases.
The abortion ruling, due by the end of June, would be the court’s biggest since former President Donald Trump succeeded in naming three conservative justices to the court – Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday said the Supreme Court will investigate the leak of a draft decision – which he confirmed as authentic – indicating that a majority of the nine justices are set to overturn the constitutional right to abortion.
Roberts said in a news release issued by the court that the draft opinion, dated from February, is authentic. He directed the court’s marshal to launch an investigation into the source of the leak.