AUSTIN, Texas - A leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion shows the majority of justices will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, as well as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both landmark decisions extending abortion access to women in the United States.
In the draft opinion, it states, "the Constitution makes no reference to abortion."
"The child is a human being from that moment of fertilization, they deserve our legal and moral protection," said Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life.
But this is not final, it is only a draft. The court has yet to rule on the issue, tied to a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The final ruling is expected in the summer.
"We are encouraged by this draft of the opinion. It is a categorical and bold reversal of Roe and that is what we are hoping for and anticipating," said Parma.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the abortion rights decision would be passed down to individual states. But Texas already has a trigger law on the books, saying if Roe v. Wade is overturned, 30 days later, abortions in the state would be illegal.
Whole Woman's Health, founded in Austin, said they will remain open and help in whatever way they can legally, regardless of what the court rules.
"Whether that’s providing care in the clinics, or helping patients travel and get where they need in order to get that care outside the state of Texas, we will be here to help patients navigate that," said Sean Mehl, associate director of clinical services.
- Roe v. Wade: What you need to know about a key abortion ruling that the Supreme Court looks poised to overturn
- Rare Supreme Court leak of Roe v. Wade draft opinion shocks court watchers
- Roe v. Wade: Texas officials weigh in on potential Supreme Court decision
Mehl said he is not surprised by this opinion.
"We’ve seen it here in Texas with Senate Bill Eight, we’ve also seen it with the executive order during the COVID pandemic that shuttered access to abortion care, and we’ve seen this mimicked state by state," he said.
Senate Bill Eight in Texas was enacted September 2021 and prohibits abortion after six weeks.
"We have been working very diligently in making sure patients can be seen in a timely manner, because that is very narrow window," said Mehl.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Mehl fears things could become dangerous.
"Many may turn to self-managed abortion or other means," he said.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion in Texas would only be legal if the pregnancy threatens the mother's life.
Whole Woman's Health said since the Heartbeat Act passed, they see more patients having to travel hundreds, if not thousands, miles to access an abortion. Texas Right to Life said they hope this leak will not sway the justices.