Skip to content
The Supreme Court appears to overturn the abortion case Roe v.  Wade, according to a draft opinion: Report


A draft notice was first obtained by Politico.

An apparent draft Supreme Court opinion obtained by Politico shows that the conservative majority of justices on the panel are prepared to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent set on abortion rights since Roe v. Wade.

The document, which Politico said it obtained from “a person familiar with court proceedings,” is marked “first draft” and dated Feb. 10, 2022 — two months after oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. ABC News has not independently confirmed the project.

“Roe was blatantly wrong from the start,” Judge Samuel Alito, the opinion’s apparent author, wrote in a copy of the draft posted online.

The leak is an extraordinary breach of Supreme Court protocol and tradition. Never before has such a substantial draft notice been disclosed to the public prior to publication.

Reached by ABC News, a Supreme Court spokeswoman declined to comment.

The Dobbs case concerns Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — long before fetal viability, the longstanding court-established dividing line before which states cannot restrict a woman’s access to the procedure.

During oral arguments in December, five of the justices suggested they were prepared to strike down the “viability standard” established by Roe and a later 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

An unnamed source familiar with the deliberations told Politico that Justices Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett all initially supported a decision siding with Mississippi and “that composition remains unchanged as of this week.”

Drafting Supreme Court opinions, however, is a fluid and dynamic process, sources familiar with the internal operations told ABC News. The released document suggests that a majority of justices are likely to side with Mississippi, but the scope of a ruling that will ultimately be handed down remains unclear.

Chief Justice John Roberts notoriously changed his vote late during deliberations on the Affordable Care Act in 2012, narrowly saving the law from being struck down. A Wall Street Journal op-ed this month suggested that Roberts, who reveres established precedent and the reputation of the court, may be trying to convince one of his fellow conservatives to join him in a narrower view. .

If Alito’s opinion were to stand, as written, it would dramatically upend abortion rights across America, allowing each state to set its own policy.

“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of every state from regulating or prohibiting abortion,” the draft concludes. “Roe and Casey arrogated that authority to themselves. We are now reversing those decisions and returning that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

ABC News

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.