Hundreds of protesters on both sides of the debate around abortion rights gathered outside the Supreme Court on Monday night after Politico published a leaked draft of a majority opinion indicating justices seem poised to strike down Roe v. Wade.
Videos posted to social media show pro-choice demonstrators — who outnumbered anti-abortion activists, CNN reported — holding up signs and chanting phrases like “abortion is health care” and “pro-life is a lie, you don’t care if women die.”
Meanwhile, anti-abortion activists sang chants such as, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go.”
Politico published a leaked majority opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Monday night, in which Justice Samuel Alito argues 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,” Alito wrote.
The official ruling on the case — which revolves around a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks — is expected sometime in the next two months.
Annie McDonnell, a student at George Washington University who joined the protest outside the court, told Reuters that she didn’t follow the conservative justice’s justification for striking down Roe.
“The first line in the draft is that this is a moral issue,” she said. “If it’s a moral issue, you shouldn’t be depriving us of our choice.”
Celina Bamper, a law student in Washington, D.C., told The New York Times that she was upset to find out about the court’s intended ruling on a major case through a leak.
“It just makes the trust in the court completely gone, to find out this momentous decision through a leak,” Bamper said. “It’s appalling.”
Indeed, a draft Supreme Court decision has never been made public while a case was still pending.
“This unprecedented view into the justices’ deliberations is plainly news of great public interest,” Politico editors Dafna Linzer and Matt Kaminski wrote in an email to staff. “Our obligation, as protected by the First Amendment, is to report the news and inform our audience.”