WASHINGTON (WAVY) – Both of Virginia’s U.S. senators say a leaked draft opinion on abortion rights from the Supreme Court is regressive, dangerous and ignores the will of the people.
First published Monday by Politico, the draft opinion concludes that the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade was flawed, and regulation over abortion should be a matter for the individual states. Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the document was authentic but emphasized that is only a draft and not final.
Justice Samuel Alito authored the opinion, but according to Politico, he has support from fellow justices Thomas, Gorsuch, Coney Barrett and Kavanaugh — enough to reverse Roe.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says the Supreme Court is jumping feet-first into the culture wars.
“I think it will create a system where people will seek out abortions in unsafe circumstances, the way it was in the 1950s and the 1960s,” he said.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says the opinion is contrary to the right to preserve liberty enshrined in the 14th Amendment.
“There is a 70- or 80-year stretch of precedent that says some interests that are so intimate to a person that no matter what the process is, government can’t take your rights away,” he said.
“The idea that the Supreme Court would roll back these rights — even in the case of rape and incest — is frankly not where Virginians are, or Americans are,” Warner said. “I think Americans overwhelmingly want abortion to be safe, legal and rare.”
The case at hand for the justices to decide is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization out of Mississippi. The Supreme Court will issue its official opinion in late May or June.
In the meantime, both Kaine and Warner say they’ll push for the Women’s Health Protection Act that would make the right to an abortion part of law. Kaine says it could be on the Senate floor by next week.