A Roe v. Wade Leak Threatens US Abortion Rights & Here's Why 'Handmaid's Tale' Is Trending

The Supreme Court is eyeing a big change.

Senior Global Editor
Protesters in 'The Handmaid's Tale' costumes push for abortion rights.

Protesters in 'The Handmaid's Tale' costumes push for abortion rights.

Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protects the right to choose an abortion, is reportedly at serious risk of being struck down, in a move that critics are comparing to The Handmaid's Tale.

A leaked Supreme Court draft suggests that the conservative majority is preparing to toss out the ruling, and it's supercharging the debate in the U.S. and abroad. Pro-choice activists are up in arms about it, while many conservative voices are celebrating it as a victory in the making.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of people simply wondering one thing: What's this going to mean for me?

Essentially, Roe v. Wade says that people should be able to choose an abortion without facing excessive barriers from the government. The Supreme Court made the ruling in 1973 and it has held up for decades, despite some aggressive efforts to take it down.

But six of the nine Supreme Court justices are now Republican-appointed, and it sounds like a majority of them have already decided to take Roe v. Wade down.

That's according to a draft majority opinion obtained by Politico, which is dated February 10, 2022. The opinion by Justice Samuel Alito is not official yet, but it suggests that the court is going to get rid of the nationwide ruling that protects access to abortion.

That would be one of the most "significant" opinions ever issued by the court, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

If Roe v. Wade falls, states will be free to pass their own laws targeting abortion. They could go after clinics, doctors who perform the procedure, people who get the procedure or even those who drive them to the clinic.

In other words, it could become impossible to get an abortion in some parts of the U.S.

Abortion rules already vary from state to state, but with Roe v. Wade gone, some states could ban it outright. Texas, Arkansas and many other states have already made it much harder for people to get an abortion, and they could go even further once Roe v. Wade is gone. More left-leaning states, such as New York, likely wouldn't see as much of a change.

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale was trending on social media Tuesday after the leak as many compared the fall of Roe v. Wade to the conservative dystopia of the book and its namesake show.

Many suggested that the U.S. was on the same path as the society in Atwood's world. It's an argument that's been made before, and protesters have even adopted the white hoods and red gowns used in the show.

However, the leak doesn't mean that these changes will happen tomorrow.

CNN reports that a ruling likely won't come until late June, so there's still about a month of political fighting and protests to go before things drastically change.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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