North Carolina reacts to leaked Roe v. Wade opinion from SCOTUS
Folks across North Carolina — including state lawmakers — have been reacting to a report from Politico containing a leaked first draft of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overrule Roe V. Wade, which would overturn the right to abortion that the landmark decision had established in 1973.
On Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft and said he had ordered an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”
In the high court’s first public comment since the draft was published late Monday, Roberts said: “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
According to the report, Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
After the leak on Monday night, a crowd of hundreds of people gathered outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., to protest.
While some went to the Supreme Court, some of the top political playmakers in North Carolina reached for their phones, typing out messages to Twitter.
Republican Congressman Mark Walker — who is running for U.S. Senate this election cycle — likened the report to a victory. His top opponents in the primary, former Gov. Pat McCrory and Trump-endorsed Ted Budd, had not tweeted about the report as of Tuesday morning.
On the threshold of victory. Most likely a few weeks before the court’s holding will published. Keep praying and speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves. #ncsen #ProLife https://t.co/GwI3rV8I0V— Mark Walker (@RepMarkWalker) May 3, 2022
Scandal-ridden Congressman Madison Cawthorn — an ally of the far right fringes of the Republican party — interpreted the report not as a win, but something that could sway the Supreme Court.
PRAYER WARRIORS:— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) May 3, 2022
This leak was meant to intimidate the Supreme Court into backing down.
Pray for the end of Roe v. Wade.
Pray the Court will defend innocent life.
Pray the Court will stand strong.
Evil MUST not triumph.
Science, common sense, and LIFE will win.
Tami Fitzgerald, the executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition — one of the most prominent grassroots pro-life organizations in the state — said in a statement: "If Roe and Casey are overturned, as the draft opinion indicates, we must build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children and women in North Carolina, and we are ready for this moment in history."
If, as the report indicates, the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, then abortion law will largely be left up to governors and state lawmakers. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, acknowledged as much in his tweet.
Now more than ever, governors and state legislatures must stand up for women’s healthcare. We know the stakes and must stand firm to protect a woman’s choice and access to medical care. - RC— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) May 3, 2022
Among those also alarmed by the Politico report are abortion rights groups in North Carolina.
Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler is the engagement director with the Carolina Abortion Fund, which helps people with abortion expenses and scheduling.
“The South has felt like it's been post-Roe for a long time. Abortion is already very inaccessible for a lot of people, particularly the most vulnerable,” Orlovsky-Schnitzler said. “And we know no matter what happens at the Supreme Court people are still going to need abortion care and certain groups of people will always be able to access it.”
Longtime Democratic Congressman David Price also weighed-in on Roe v. Wade. Price is not seeking re-election this year after serving in the U.S. House for more than 30 years.
Abortion, the right to choose, and the right to make your own healthcare decisions must be protected. The House already voted to codify Roe v. Wade. The Senate MUST act without delay.— Rep. David E. Price (@RepDavidEPrice) May 3, 2022
We will keep fighting to protect this fundamental right.
One of the Democrats running for Price's seat — Durham County commissioner Nida Allam — shared a story about her own abortion on Twitter.
In a separate tweet, Allam wrote: "I’m overwhelmed. My abortion was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but without that life saving procedure I wouldn’t have been able to become pregnant with my daughter. This is personal to me. People should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies."
This picture was taken on the day of my abortion, when I ended my ectopic pregnancy to save my life even though a viable pregnancy was everything I’d ever wanted.— Nida Allam (@NidaAllam) May 3, 2022
When they come for our right to choose, they’re coming for our right to our lives. We can’t let them take it. https://t.co/P5SLdqxlYG pic.twitter.com/UIdOgYPVRp
The Associated Press contributed to this report.