PHOENIX — In a leaked draft of the majority opinion obtained by Politico, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Roe v. Wade decision was wrong from the start and that "abortions are not protected by the constitution."
"This is a first as far as I'm concerned," ASU law professor Paul Bender said after reading the bombshell report.
Arizona's abortion law
- Becomes effective if Roe v. Wade is overturned
- Carries a prison sentence lasting between 2-5 years
- Some exceptions allowed
Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed on Tuesday that the draft was real.
When the vote to strike down Roe v. Wade takes place, it would mean a woman's right to an abortion would no longer be constitutionally protected.
"That's an enormous change in custom to have something like this leak," Bender said.
The case began with Dobbs v. Jackson and led to a challenge to a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi and a similar ban that was later signed into law in Arizona too.
“They could have upheld Mississippi law without doing this,” Bender explained. “And then they could, in a subsequent case, go a little bit further. But to do it all at once is breathtaking."
If the Supreme Court moves forward with this ruling, it would allow individual states to regulate or ban abortion.
And in states like Arizona, the ban would happen overnight.
“It would mean, that at least in Arizona, abortion is illegal,” Bender explained.
Arizona has an abortion ban on the books already that states anyone who performs an abortion could be sentenced to 2 to 5 years in prison.
The only exception to that law would be if an abortion is necessary to save the woman's life.
That law has been unenforceable since Roe v. Wade, but that would immediately change if the ruling was overturned.
The Supreme Court has not issued a final opinion.
It's unclear how this document was made public.
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