Justice Alito’s leaked draft: a condemnation of choice


STUDENT INTERESTS: A student reads the leaked draft to keep up with what could change in America.

Sifa Ansari, Editor

What is Roe v. Wade?

Roe v. Wade is a 1973 ruling which concluded that abortions must be allowed in all 50 states without being restricted, only regulated. It protects a pregnant woman’s decision on whether or not she wants an abortion without excessive laws. The “Roe” in the case was actually Norma McCorvey, a pregnant women who was seeking an abortion in Texas and was denied. She preferred to stay anonymous initially and chose the name “Jane Roe”’, meanwhile, “Wade ” was Henry Wade, the district attorney of Texas, the state that Norma resided in. He enforced the abortion laws in his state as well.

At the time, abortions in Texas were illegal and only permissible for medical purposes. Norma McCorvey sought an abortion because she wanted one, not because her health was on the line, and because of this she was denied. McCorvey initiated a lawsuit against the state of Texas. She was displeased with the decision that came out of it and the case was appealed and taken to the Supreme Court. Prior to this, the supreme court had never addressed abortion so this was their first chance to do so.

The case came to an end with a 7 to 2 vote in favor of Roe. Around the time of the case, President Nixon appointed William Rehnquist who was one of the two justices with a dissenting opinion. The other was Justice Byron White, who was appointed by President Kennedy. The outcome of this lawsuit made abortion a fundamental right. It concluded that abortion was a private matter, and taking that right away was unconstitutional.

Today, a leaked draft written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked in which he discusses that the Supreme Court will be ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade (And possibly Casey v. Planned Parenthood) His reasoning being that the supreme court should not be involved in making laws around abortion at all. Americans believed in the fact that the outcome of Roe v. Wade was absolute, so the leaked draft is sparking protest and uncontainable anger throughout the states.

Freedom of Choice

Open access to abortion across the country will simply give people a choice. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it won’t immediately take away the right to an abortion. Instead, it will rip away the choice to have one for those who reside in states whose officials propose to ban it. 

Justice Alito, in the leaked draft, states,, “It is time to heed the constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives. ‘The permissibility of abortion, and the limitations, upon it, are to be resolved like most important questions in our democracy by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.’”

You can argue that states having their own abortion laws isn’t automatically a bad thing, however, many states will try to ban it completely, with Texas, the very state Roe v. Wade originated from being one of them. The argument being made here is that the culture and belief systems heavily differ across the states, so that makes it right to leave it up to their own representatives. 

Regardless of who wins an election, there will always be a percentage of voters whose wishes were cast aside in favor of the majority. When an anti-abortion official is elected only because of a slight difference in votes, there will still be many people forced to heed those laws. Keeping safe abortions available will give people a choice. You can choose not to get one, despite it being available to you. It’s all about having a choice.

States banning abortion will just lead to more illegal and dangerous abortions. It’ll lead to an increase in deaths and injuries from attempted at-home abortions and will open a gateway for unlicensed clinics to take advantage of pregnant women seeking one. People without the money to travel to other states for an abortion would be left with no option but to resort to those. For those who do have that privilege, states who keep access to abortions will see a rise in cases.

A difficult decision

Abortions occur for a reason. There are a myriad of variables that play into the decision of whether or not to have one, which includes religion, age, social and economic class, income, mental stability, being able-bodied and more. Having a child is expensive. From the first doctor’s appointment, to labor and to college. It takes on average $233,610 to raise a child. The cost of childbirth varies throughout the states, but it’s an undeniable fact that it’s unaffordable for those without insurance. It costs 3 times as much to give birth in New Jersey compared to Nebraska

Not all pregnancies are consensual. According to The Atlantic, “Twenty-two states have abortion bans that would become law almost immediately if a leaked Supreme Court decision on abortion rights goes into effect. Many of these state bans contain no exceptions for rape or incest survivors.”


One can argue that giving the child up for abortion immediately after birth is the solution to not having to raise an unwanted child. That giving the child away to be put into the foster care system so that they’re in loving households will make everyone involved happy.

The adoption/foster care system is deeply flawed in ways that are nearly un-fixable. There are already over 400,000 kids in foster care and adding more will only worsen the situation. Kids who often come from households with addiction, incarceration and death are then placed into “safer” and “happier” homes. That’s not always the case. Foster kids are taken advantage of, neglected, and are often at a disadvantage with life in general. 


Religion has been the basis of the American pro-life movement since the beginning. In many cases, it is difficult to have one without the other. America has always preached religious freedom, so you can say that protesting abortion is simply demonstrating freedoms. However, when those “freedoms” take away the religious rights of other Americans it isn’t right. Especially when it’s politicians who uphold certain bans and policies solely based on their religion. Religion has absolutely no place in lawmaking because not everyone is the same religion. America values freedom over anything, so then why should policies that only a few religions deem necessary be upheld? You can demonstrate your freedom by choosing not to have an abortion, not by taking that right away from everyone altogether.

In the leaked decision Justice Alito says, “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The constitution makes no reference to abortion., and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” The reasoning behind their decision is that the constitution has no bearing on abortion, and therefore it would be inappropriate for the Supreme Court to make decisions for the entire country.

However, abortion has to do with laws of privacy, as well as life and liberty as mentioned in the 14th amendment. It’s the choice on what to do with your body. Just because the constitution doesn’t specifically use the word ‘abortion’ doesn’t mean it wasn’t implied. The founding fathers deliberately wrote the constitution to be interpreted as time goes on. They knew society would progress, so they didn’t place strict laws that wouldn’t apply in hundreds of years. 

Abortion must stay a fundamental right. If Roe v. Wade is truly overturned, it will do nothing but harm. 22 states already plan on banning abortion if it goes into affect, and around half of that plan on a ban even in severe cases. Governor Murphy has already stated that abortion will stay protected in New Jersey no matter the outcome. Other states won’t be so lucky. There isn’t much we can do to stop the ruling itself given that Justice Alito himself stated that the public’s opinion can’t affect their decision, but contacting your own representatives can help. Here you can find your own representative according to your zip code.