Vice President Kamala Harris said a leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade threatens Americans’ rights to privacy and could endanger other liberal precedents.
The draft opinion would overturn the federal constitutional right to an abortion, upending 49 years of legal precedent. The court confirmed the authenticity of the document but noted that it does not represent a final opinion.
“What is clear is that opponents of Roe want to punish women and take away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies,” Harris argued in a statement on Tuesday. She said Republican legislators are “weaponizing” the law against women.
A LEAKED DRAFT OPINION SIGNALS SUPREME COURT WILL OVERTURN ROE V. WADE
“The rights of all Americans are at risk,” Harris continued. “If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life.”
Traveling to Alabama on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said the court could offer a similar ruling on other “privacy” related cases, such as “who you marry,” and pledged to oppose the court's eventual ruling.
The president also urged voters to elect “pro-choice” lawmakers. “If this decision holds, it's really quite a radical decision,” he told reporters.
To mark the 49-year anniversary of Roe, Harris in January recorded a video promising that the Biden administration would “protect a woman’s right to choose” and calling for legislation to codify Roe.
A month earlier, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, with Harris warning that the court could overturn Roe.
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“The constitutional right for women to make decisions about their own bodies is not an abstract concept. … [Our administration] will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose,” she said.
Chief Justice John Roberts said on Tuesday the leaked draft was “authentic” but does “not represent a decision by the Court.” Politico published the document on Monday night.