Opinion What the Internet is saying about the leaked draft abortion opinion

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on May 3. (Al Drago/Bloomberg)
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A leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade has sparked a renewed debate about women’s rights, the legitimacy of the court and the politics of abortion access.

The potential decision led many to question the structure of the court, including recent nominations and the possibility of expansion.

Others looked at the political consequences, diving into whether this is a good or bad development for Democrats. Some looked at the constitutional ramifications and what it means for certain groups of people.

Meanwhile, court experts asked whether the leak itself is the most significant news.

Here’s what people are saying online.

The leak delegitimizes the court

“Sorry, but whoever the source, leaking a draft opinion isn’t bravery — it’s betrayal. I love a leak as much as the next reporter, and kudos to Politico for its scoop, but unlike Congress and the White House, the court can’t function this way.” — Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus

Read Marcus's column: The leaked draft Roe opinion is a disaster for the Supreme Court

“The leaker accomplished nothing but another addition to the nation’s sense of fraying and another subtraction from the norms that preserve institutional functioning and dignity.” — Washington Post columnist George F. Will

Read Will's column: Alito’s argument is less a refutation of Roe than a starting over

Overturning Roe is a political act and delegitimizes the court

“The court’s legitimacy rests on the notion that it follows the law, not the personal or ideological preferences of the justices who happen to serve on it at any given time.” — The Washington Post Editorial Board

Read the editorial: The Supreme Court might never recover from overturning Roe v. Wade

The ruling could threaten other precedents

“The opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. adopted such an aggressively maximalist position, not only giving states extraordinary leeway to prohibit abortion but also implicitly inviting a flurry of challenges to other precedents, including cases protecting contraception and LGBTQ civil rights.” — Legal experts Melissa Murray and Leah Litman in a Washington Post op-ed

Read the op-ed: Alito’s aggressive ruling would reach way beyond Roe

“Just think of the opinions ripe to be overturned: birth control, same-sex marriage, Miranda, etc., which are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.” — Reader Pamela Kincheloe in a Washington Post letter to the editor

Read the letter

Abolish the filibuster and pass Roe into federal law

Overturning Roe is a human rights violation

The Constitution doesn’t mention abortion rights

“There is a deep consensus within the broad conservative legal world that Roe was wrongly decided a half-century ago. The absence of a clear textual right to an abortion, combined with the ruling’s wholly invented trimester system that guided when abortions could be banned, struck conservatives as a quintessential example of a court run amok.” — Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen

Read Olsen's column: The leak is a shock. What the draft decision says is not.

That’s not how the Constitution works

These are stolen seats

This is a blow to democracy

This is good for democracy

“The court is poised to make the United States more democratic when it comes to abortion policy. By distorting the meaning of democracy — especially on the narrow issue of abortion — progressives risk draining the democratic ideal of its prestige and moral authority.” — Washington Post columnist Jason Willick

Read Willick's column: Overturning Roe would make America more democratic

Expand the Supreme Court

Just move to another state

The decision would disproportionately harm poor women

“Let’s not forget that women who seek abortions are disproportionately poor or economically insecure. A 2014 study found that 3 in 4 women who terminate their pregnancies are low-income and almost 50 percent of those women live below the poverty level. Fifty-five percent are unmarried or do not live with the father.” — Washington Post columnist Michele L. Norris

Read Norris's column: The GOP roars about abortion. Then they abandon the children.

Minority rule is to blame

“Part of the sinister genius of minority rule is that if it is constructed with enough care and comprehensiveness, it can be demoralizing to the majority, which sees no way around it, at least in the short term. That then serves to demobilize the majority and further solidify minority rule.” — Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman

Minority rule is the real reason Roe is dead

This is politically good for Democrats

“With the extraordinary leak of a draft showing the Supreme Court is preparing to strike down Roe v. Wade, Democrats finally have something they have lacked in this perilous midterm election year: a compelling message.” — Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Karen Tumulty

Read Tumulty's column: Democrats finally have a message. Will they seize it?

“If the Supreme Court rules as seems likely, we might not see another Republican president for a very long time” — Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker

Read Parker's column: The court has shifted on abortion over the past 50 years. I have, too.

This is politically bad for Democrats

“This whole saga might soon get worse for Democrats — that is, if Democratic voters prove to be … unmoved by this latest news [like they were in the recent gubernatorial race in Virginia].” — Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent

Read Sargent's column: The Supreme Court bombshell may soon get even worse for Democrats

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