Hillary Clinton Says Supreme Court's Purported Vote to Overturn 'Roe v. Wade' Is 'an Utter Disgrace'

"This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law," Hillary Clinton wrote in a tweet on Monday evening

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton. Photo: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty

Hillary Clinton is speaking out after a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court was allegedly leaked to Politico on Monday, in which the landmark 1973 decision on federally legalized abortion Roe v. Wade is set to be overturned.

"Not surprising. But still outrageous," Clinton, 74, wrote in a tweet. "This decision is a direct assault on the dignity, rights, & lives of women, not to mention decades of settled law."

"It will kill and subjugate women even as a vast majority of Americans think abortion should be legal," she added. "What an utter disgrace."

Clinton's post was in response to a "majority draft opinion" of a Supreme Court decision, which Politico says it obtained Monday.

The 98-page draft opinion, allegedly authored by Justice Samuel Alito and leaked to the press in what appears to be a major breach of confidentiality, states that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," and that "we [the Supreme Court majority] hold that Roe and Casey [another ruling on the right to abortion from 1992 which upheld the previous court decision] must be overruled."

For more on the leaked SCOTUS opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

The draft document, labeled as a first draft and the "Opinion of the Court," also said, "It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives."

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A decision to overturn Roe seemed likely when the conservative-leaning Supreme Court decided in December to take up a lawsuit over Mississippi's ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Because allowing the ban to move forward would be in violation of Roe, the move raised expectations that the conservative majority on the Court would vote to overturn the case.

According to Politico, Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were listed as joining Alito's opinion, while the three Democratic-appointed justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — are working on one or more dissents.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America also released a statement in reaction to the leaked draft opinion on Monday, writing, "if this decision issues, 26 states are poised to move quickly to ban abortion, leaving more than 36 million women of reproductive age — and other people who can become pregnant — without abortion access."

"This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. While we have seen the writing on the wall for decades, it is no less devastating, and comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide," the statement sent to PEOPLE continued. "Understand that Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight. Planned Parenthood health centers remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion."

The organization repeated in its statement, "Abortion is legal. It is still your right."

Politico also stipulated Monday that the draft opinion does not represent an official decision from the court, which will only be codified once a final opinion is published, most likely within the next two months. Votes from Supreme Court Justices can change before opinions are formally released, often days before a decision is officially made.

It is not immediately clear how Politico obtained the alleged draft opinion, which is noted to have been circulated within SCOTUS in February. The website claimed that it "received a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court's proceedings" along with "other details supporting the authenticity of the document."

"No draft decision in the modern history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending," Politico said. "The unprecedented revelation is bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term."

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The draft opinion states that the right to have an abortion would remain up to each state, though about half of states have already created laws that would ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

The potential ruling comes at a time when abortion rights are under assault across the country. In 2021, a record 106 restrictions on abortions became law in the U.S.

In the past, states that tried to enact anti-abortion laws knew they would be struck down by state and federal courts following the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. But now, with six conservative justices on the Supreme Court — three added during Donald Trump's presidency — legalized abortions may no longer be inalienable right.

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