(WHNT) — Leaders across Alabama are reacting to a draft opinion showing the Supreme Court plans to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision setting precedent for abortion rights over the last 50 years.
On Monday night, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) stated, “if the opinion stands, then it is a great decision for the protection of innocent life in America.”
“The overturning of Roe will not make abortion illegal,” Aderholt continued. “It will simply leave the legality up to each individual state. While this will certainly reduce abortions by a great number, there will sadly still be thousands of abortions in states where it will remain legal.”
“I’m glad to say Alabama will not be one of them,” Aderholt stated.
Fellow congressman Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) called for the Court to release its final decision as soon as possible.
“In regard to the leaked draft, I believe Roe was wrongly decided and agree with the draft opinion of the court to overturn Roe v. Wade… To avoid chaos and further division about the law, the Court should immediately release the final decision.”
On Wednesday, the Alabama Republican Party released a statement on Roe and the leaked draft opinion as a whole.
The sanctity of all human life, including the unborn, is one of the most important planks of the Republican Party platform. Without the right to life, you cannot have true liberty. We have long supported the addition of a human life amendment to the Constitution, and opposed the use of taxpayer dollars to fund and promote abortion. Needless to say, we are overjoyed by news that the United States Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. This ruling would return jurisdiction of this issue to the states where it always belonged.
However, we are deeply troubled by the leak which brought this news to light.
Not only is it unprecedented, but it also compromises our judicial process and its protocols. This leak needs to be recognized for what it is, a type of judicial insurrection that undermines the rule of law and the founding principles of our nation. The justices of the Supreme Court must be allowed to deliberate all cases before them, without intimidation and coercion, in order to reach a conclusion based on the Constitution, not politics.
It is our hope the person who is responsible will be identified and held accountable, and the high court is able to release its decision as originally intended.Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP)
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who is retiring this year, stated, “The Supreme Court must remain independent of politics. Any breach is an attack on the institution and an effort to undermine its constitutional authority.”
“I have long-believed that the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was unconstitutional,” Shelby continued. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have supported pro-life values and ideals and will continue to do so for the remainder of my career.”
Senate counterpart Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) also spoke on the topic:
The Dobbs case brings to the forefront one of the most important issues to Alabamians and many Americans: the protection of unborn lives. As a Christian, I believe the sanctity of human life is not measured by days or weeks. Life begins at conception. That’s why I signed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in support of the Mississippi law.
The leaking of the draft opinion runs counter to the Supreme Court’s deliberative nature and its independence from political influence. It was wholly inappropriate, and whoever is responsible should be punished.U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville
On the opposite side of the political spectrum, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Alabama’s lone congressional Democrat, called the move a “devastating blow to women’s reproductive rights.”
“A woman’s personal health decisions should be made between her and her doctor,” Sewell said on Twitter. “The Senate must pass the #WHPA so that women everywhere can access a full range of reproductive health care services.”
The #WHPA Sewell referenced in her tweet stands for the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” a piece of legislation aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade.
State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), who also serves as the chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, echoed Sewell’s concerns over the leaked draft opinion in a statement Monday night.
According to tonight’s reporting, the Supreme Court will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, leaving laws regarding abortion access up to the states. Because of laws passed by our Republican legislature, abortion services will be illegal in Alabama – a felony that could force doctors to face up to 99 years in prison for providing medical care to their patients.
Yet again, Republican legislators and appointed judges think they should be sitting between you and your doctor while making medical decisions.
Republican politicians will claim this is a win for “life” in a state with high infant mortality rates, a Black maternal mortality crisis, and countless other public health crises. They refuse to expand Medicaid, providing free lifesaving healthcare access to Alabama families – or do anything else that actually sanctifies life for Alabamians. Now, their law will block abortion access in Alabama, negatively affecting women with the fewest resources the most.
Some of our nation’s most consequential laws are written in state legislatures. This challenge started in the halls of the Mississippi legislature, and Democrats must remember this example of why local elections must be a central focus. What happens every day in Jackson or Montgomery can have national implications.
While the Alabama Republican supermajority keeps trying to turn the clock back decades on our freedoms – Alabama Democrats and our 2022 candidates will defend Alabamians’ freedom to make their own medical decisions – especially their right to abortion. In the meantime, we need Democrats in Washington to act and pass laws that protect abortion access for all Americans.Alabama Democratic Party Chair Chris England
The draft opinion leaked on Monday night, and plans not only to overturn Roe v. Wade, but also 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which maintained the right to abortion in the United States of America.
Until now, no draft decision in the Court’s modern history has been disclosed publicly while a case was pending.
Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 on a 7-2 decision. The Supreme Court decided, at that time, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provided a right to privacy that protects a pregnant woman’s right to have an abortion.
To read the full draft opinion, click here.