Protesters gathered outside the US Supreme Court late on Tuesday after news outlet Politico released what it said was a draft majority opinion from the court overturning the landmark abortion judgment known as Roe v. Wade. Written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the initial draft is his opinion and what he believes reflects the opinion of at least four other conservative members of the top court. It does not reflect comments or reactions from other members of the nine-member court. It is also not the final decision since the Supreme Court has not ruled on the case yet, and judges can also change their final vote. In the reported draft opinion, Alito said he believes that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start." "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives," the opinion reportedly adds.
What is the Roe v. Wade ruling?
Roe v. Wade is the landmark US Supreme Court judgment of 1973 that legalized women's right to abortion across the country. It was once again upheld in a 1992 ruling, which said states could not place an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions before a fetus could survive outside the womb, at around 24 weeks. According to Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights, 26 US states are certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Barring Texas, 22 of those states have either total or near-total bans that are currently blocked by Roe.
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