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Obamas issue strong statement on leaked Roe v. Wade opinion

Former President Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama issued a strong statement criticizing the draft Supreme Court opinion knocking down the Roe v. Wade decision, saying it would limit U.S. freedoms just like other past actions by the court.

“Today, millions of Americans woke up fearing that their essential freedoms under the Constitution were at risk,” the couple said in the joint statement on Tuesday. 

“If the Supreme Court ultimately decides to overturn the landmark case of Roe v. Wade, then it will not only reverse nearly 50 years of precedent — it will relegate the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues,” the Obamas added.

A draft opinion was leaked Monday night to Politico knocking down Roe v. Wade, the decision that established a legal right across the country to abortion. Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement Tuesday that said the draft did not represent the final views of the justices.

Abortion rights supporters, however, are deeply worried the draft is a strong sign the court is moving to knock down Roe v. Wade given the court’s conservative majority.

The Obamas said the Roe decision allowed state legislations to impose restrictions on abortion but argued the draft reportedly authored by Justice Samuel Alito didn’t look to balance different rights but to wipe out the right to have an abortion.

“As the court has previously determined, our freedoms are not unlimited — society has a compelling interest in other circumstances, for example, in protecting children from abuse or people from self-harm — and the framework constructed by Roe and subsequent Court decisions allowed legislatures to impose greater restrictions on abortion later in pregnancy. But this draft decision doesn’t seek to balance these interests,” the statement said. 

The couple also called on those who support abortion rights to protest and volunteer on campaigns.

“We’re asking you to join with the activists who’ve been sounding the alarm on this issue for years — and act. Stand with them at a local protest. Volunteer with them on a campaign,” the couple’s statement said. 

“Join with them in urging Congress to codify Roe into law. And vote alongside them on or before November 8 and in every other election. Because in the end, if we want judges who will protect all, and not just some, of our rights, then we’ve got to elect officials committed to doing the same,” the statement concluded. 

Tags abortion ban Abortion in the United States abortion rights First Lady Michele Obama John Roberts Michelle Obama Michelle Obama President Obama President Obama Samuel Alito Supreme Court Supreme Court of the United States Supreme Court of the United States

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