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Fallout Continues from Supreme Court Draft Opinion Leak, Democrats Call for Federal Laws to Protect Abortion

People pray outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

It's day two of the fallout from the leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade as protestors mobilize nationwide, and political leaders are also speaking out.

Some are angry over what the draft says, while others are upset over the leak itself.

Protesters on both sides of the abortion debate are turning out across the country in reaction to the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.

"I was happy that I saw what we believe should be the decision," one person said. 

"It's horrible," another demonstrator said. "It's so depressing. It's shocking I can't believe it."

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the draft is authentic, but said the decision is not final. He also called the leak an "egregious breach" and ordered an investigation to find out who did it.

The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito in February, says Roe 'must be overruled' and reportedly has the support of four other justices.

"We now have confirmation. There are five votes to overturn Roe v. Wade clearly and unequivocally, there is a draft opinion, said Brad Lingo, executive director of the Robertson Center for Constitutional Law at Regent University. "Nothing is final until opinion comes out. With abortion, a case of this magnitude, you never say never, but it would be very surprising if anyone changes their votes at this time."

In the U.S. Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted the leak as another attempt at pressuring the court.

"What's unique about today is this is the first time we've had somebody on the inside try to attack the institution," he said. 

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With Democrats expressing outrage at the draft ruling and calling for federal laws to protect abortion.

"it is our intention for the Senate to hold a vote on legislation to codify the right to an abortion in law," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said. 

But such a bill can't get past a Senate filibuster.  One of the main Democratic holdouts -- West Virginia's Joe Manchin -- appears to be holding firm on keeping the filibuster.

"Are you prepared to support ending the filibuster to deal with Roe?" a reporter asked Manchin. 

"Let me say that I have no comment to make on basically leaks and things of that sort. Let's wait to see everything else," he replied. 

Meanwhile, legal experts and pro-life advocates say overturning Roe is just the beginning of the fight to end abortion in America.

"If the court overrules Roe v. Wade that doesn't end the debate on abortion," Lingo explained. "It really just restores it and restarts it so then it will be up to the legislatures to the people's representatives in every individual state to pass abortion laws or restrictions as they see fit."

"This does not make things easier for the pro-life movement," said pro-life activist Abby Johnson. It turns it from one fight into 50 fights."

While abortion advocates point to national polls showing most Americans believe Roe should not be overturned, the states tell a different story as legislatures across the country are passing laws restricting or banning abortion.

Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.

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