Washington elected officials react to Supreme Court leaked draft opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court plans to strike down Roe versus Wade, overturning abortion rights, according to a draft majority opinion obtained by Politico. 

The outlet reports no draft decision in the court's modern history has ever been publicly disclosed while the case was still pending.

In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito says the 1973 landmark decision guaranteeing constitutional protections of abortion rights, must be overruled.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would remove the federal guarantee of abortion protection and allow each state to set its own rules.

In Washington state, lawmakers have already spoken out against the possible overturn.

On Facebook, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote: 

"We knew it was coming. If the leaked opinion is true, SCOTUS plans to overturn Roe v. Wade. There’s a lot to say but the most important thing to know in this moment is this: NOT HERE, NOT IN OUR LIFETIME. Washington is and will remain pro-choice. And we will not slow down in the fight to ensure safe, affordable access to every person who needs it." 

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee said in a statement: 

"If this is true, this kind of outcome is exactly what I've been ringing alarm bells about—and this is a five alarm fire. Republicans' goal has always been to ban abortion: they’re already banning abortion in state legislatures across the country, they’re fighting for a federal ban right here in the Senate, and plan to overturn Roe in the Supreme Court too.

"In a matter of days or weeks, the horrifying reality is that we could live in a country without Roe. If this is true, women will be forced to remain pregnant no matter their personal circumstances. Extreme politicians will control patients’ most personal decisions. And extreme Republicans will have eliminated a fundamental right an entire generation of women have known their whole lives.

"After ringing these alarms, for years now: it’s time to break the glass. It’s time for every single person—in every single state—to realize this impacts you, your choices, your rights. It’s not happening to someone else, in some other state—it’s happening everywhere, and the highest court in the land is preparing to rip away your rights at this very moment. We need to fight back with everything we've got right now. The right to abortion is on the line, and I'll never stop fighting to protect it." 

Sen. Maria Cantwell tweeted: 

Overturning a woman's right to privacy and reproductive health after 50 years of case law makes clear the far right’s agenda: get Supreme Court justices who will testify at confirmation hearings that Roe v. Wade is settled law, but now vote to overturn it. Women's lives and their health care are not political footballs. The right to privacy exists within our Constitution and must be defended. If the reporting about the draft opinion is true, America is on the path to returning to a dangerous time. The State of Washington has codified these rights. We must now do that for the rest of the country." 

Rep. Pramilia Jayapal retweeted the Politico article, adding, "As one of the 1 in 4 women in this country who have chosen to have an abortion, I am outraged & disgusted by the reported draft SCOTUS opinion." 

King County Executive Dow Constantine said: 

"I am disgusted, yet unsurprised, by the deeply troubling revelation of SCOTUS’s strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade. Women and families will suffer because of this hateful, misogynist agenda to deprive women of their bodily autonomy.

I believe in and am committed to the right of every woman to make the choice that is best for herself and her family, and I will never stop fighting to ensure that abortion and family planning care are available, without barriers and unnecessary restrictions, in King County and Washington State.

What right-wing zealots don’t understand, or simply don’t care about, is that abortions will not stop happening if they are criminalized. They will simply become unsafe. I urge all good people to make your voices heard, and join me in fighting for the preservation of reproductive rights and justice across our nation."

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell tweeted: 

"Outrageous, dangerous, and infuriating – reports that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade mean harmful and disastrous consequences now and for generations to come. Seattle must continue to be a place where abortion and reproductive healthcare are available to all." 

Back in March, a Washington state measure that prohibits legal action against people seeking an abortion and those who aid them was signed into law by the governor, in a move designed to rebut recent actions by conservative states.

The bill signing comes just days after the Legislature in neighboring Idaho approved a bill that allows lawsuits by potential family members to enforce a ban on abortions performed after six weeks of pregnancy.

Conservative legislatures in several states have either passed or proposed new abortion restrictions in anticipation of possible changes to the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Washington’s measure, which takes effect in June, prohibits the state from taking any action against an individual seeking to end their pregnancy or for assisting someone who is pregnant in obtaining an abortion.

The draft of federal Roe v. Wade opinion obtained by Politico was written in early February and may have already been re-written, revised or revoked.