Local professor, advocates on leak of Roe v. Wade draft overturn

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT
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PEORIA (WEEK) - Local reaction is pouring in after a Supreme Court draft opinion to an overturn of Roe v. Wade leaked to the public.

Bradley University Political Science Professor Megan Remmel says this isn’t the first time something has leaked out of the Supreme Court, but agrees it is a large departure from normal court procedure.

“It’s generally been a very opaque institution, and they have generally wanted to keep it that way,” Remmel said. “It does show, contrary to what the justices would like to claim publicly, how politicized the court has become. The fact that somebody in the Supreme Court, probably a clerk I’m assuming of one of the justices, leaked this.”

To that end, state and local lawmakers and advocates are also weighing in. Former Planned Parenthood Heart of Illinois President Joyce Harant says rights would be taken away from women, often the most vulnerable, who don’t have the means to head to other states to get a safe and legal abortion.

“There is nothing about the past 50 years of Roe v. Wade that has forced anyone to get an abortion,” Harant said. “This is all about somebody else wanting to have power over another person’s decision-making.”

Pro-life advocates like Central Illinois Right to Life Board Member Sondra McEnroe are pushing back on that assessment, saying adoption and providing support services to young mothers is the way to go.

“We’re pro-choice too. We’re a choice for life,” McEnroe said. “There’s facilities. There’s baby clothes. There’s things that people are willing to give them or available to them. They don’t have to go alone.”

If the decision does go through, control of abortion rights returns to the states. Remmel says a federalist system like this will make things more complicated, regardless of the side you are on.

“It tends to create so many layers of complications and bureaucracy that it almost makes it, at some points, ungovernable,” Remmel said.

The court’s decision would be highly unlikely to change policy in Illinois, where abortion service access has been protected by state law. The same cannot be said for many of the states that border Illinois.

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