MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Supreme Court is known for keeping secrets but that wasn’t the case when it came to one of their biggest issues in years.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of a leaked opinion suggesting it will overturn Roe v. Wade. Chief Justice John Roberts says he’s ordered an investigation into what he calls an “egregious breach of trust.”
Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri have trigger laws — laws that are currently unenforceable but may go into effect upon a change in federal policy — that will ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says if Roe v. Wade is overturned, his state will move quickly.
“Arkansas has already passed a trigger law which means that we will move to limit abortions even further,” Governor Hutchinson said.
State Representative Antonio Parkinson says Tennessee has trigger laws in place as well.
“I don’t know one single person that is for abortion but I know a lot of people that are for the woman’s ability to make that choice for herself,” Representative Parkinson said.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released a statement in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s deliberations on Roe v. Wade.
“I am concerned by the leak and any attempt to thwart justice. If the federal courts return full authority to the states, Tennessee’s laws will automatically provide the maximum possible protection and offer a glimmer of redemption as America reconciles our troubled past. We are talking about families in crisis – not isolated clinical procedures – and our state will continue to provide protection, resources and care for both mother and child.”
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III also issued a statement saying:
“While we have a vested interest in the outcome of Dobbs in Tennessee, we will let the Supreme Court speak for itself. This leak is more than regrettable, it is an affront to the integrity of our legal process at the highest level. Chief Justice John Roberts has rightly called for an investigation and we would do well to treat this document for what it is- a draft subject to edits and changes.”
Cindy Granger and her group Memphis Coalition For Life are outside one clinic six days a week. If Roe v. Wade is overturned like those who are out here protesting are hoping – clinics like Planned Parenthood could be in jeopardy.
“I think it gives us hope that hopefully this place and other places that perform abortions in Memphis will close down and that these young women will see that there are options,” Granger said.
Parkinson says it is not that simple.
“I think what’s going to end up happening is you are going to see a lot of people crossing state lines to have the procedure,” Representative Parkinson said.
Planned Parenthood released this statement:
We at Planned Parenthood have been preparing for this outcome since well before 2019, when Tennessee’s General Assembly passed a trigger ban to take effect 30 days after Roe is overturned. Plans have been underway to hire and train patient navigators who will help people access safe and legal abortion outside Tennessee and Mississippi.
We will continue to provide abortion care up to the very minute when we can no longer do so legally.
President Biden warns that a whole range of rights are in jeopardy if it holds and declares that a woman’s right to have an abortion is “fundamental.”
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer vowed if the ruling stands the senate will vote on legislation to uphold women’s access to abortions but stopped short of promising to change Senate filibuster rules.