New York leaders vow to “stand up for choice” following leaked Supreme Court opinion on Roe

New York’s Democratic leaders are reacting with shock and anger to a leaked first draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision apparently overturning Roe v Wade written by Justice Samuel Alito. 

Alito wrote the draft opinion to Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which was leaked to Politico on May 2.

In the draft opinion of the court, Alito states that the landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey do not align with The Constitution and therefore abortion is not a federally protected right.

The Dobbs case, argued in December 2021, concerns a Mississippi law called the Gestational Age Act, which prohibits all abortions, with few exceptions, after 15 weeks.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito writes. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’

“The right to abortion does not fall within this category.”

The leaked opinion caused outrage among New York Democratic leaders who vowed to “stand up for choice” and keep New York an abortion sanctuary where women will be free to receive safe abortion care. 

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins reacted to the leaked opinion of overturning Roe v. Wade by stating that New York will always be a refuge for those seeking abortion care. 

“I am extremely troubled by the preliminary Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Steasrt-Cousins said. “Unfortunately, we knew this day was coming, and that is why when we took the Senate Majority we immediately codified Roe v. Wade into state law, allowing us to withstand any Supreme Court decision. 

“The Senate Democratic Majority will continue to stand up for choice and women’s health. New York has always stood as a beacon for those seeking refuge, and that will not change through the uncertain days ahead. We will remain a Destination State for any and all seeking abortion care. Our fight is not over. Our partners in Congress must act and choice must be codified into federal law,” Stewart-Cousins said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul also reacted with anger to the leaked opinion.

“I am horrified by the apparent draft Supreme Court opinion leaked this evening that would overturn the right to abortion guaranteed by Roe v. Wade,” Hochul said. “For the sake of women across the country, this should not be the Supreme Court’s final opinion when it comes to abortion rights.

“We have been fighting this battle for too long. I refuse to go backwards. I refuse to let my new granddaughter have to fight for the rights generations have fought for and won, rights that she should be guaranteed.”

In response to the Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand expressed how important midterm elections are to keeping abortion legal. 

As we approach the midterm elections, it is absolutely critical that Democrats turn out in record numbers to maintain our majorities,” Gillibrand said. “The American people do not support the government interfering with what people do with their own bodies.

“At the state level, Democrats must enact strong pro-choice legislation where we currently have control. In purple and red states, we must fight tooth and nail to flip legislatures and pass legislation guaranteeing reproductive rights, including access to abortion. There is no state where a majority of the public supports a federal ban on abortion.”

The Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, released a statement on behalf of the Christian advocacy group.

“While it is important that we wait for the justices of the United State Supreme Court to speak for themselves through an official opinion, tonight’s news is an exciting possibility for those of us in the trenches of America’s pro-life movement. We have never been closer to seeing Roe cast upon the trash heap of history — where it belongs,” McGuire said. 

Although this leak is not an official opinion from the Supreme Court, observers are expecting that Roe v. Wade will most likely be overturned. No other justice’s names were included in the opinion.