WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 02: Demonstrators gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. In an initial draft majority opinion obtained by Politico, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito allegedly wrote that the cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey should be overturned, which would end federal protection of abortion rights across the country. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is known for keeping secrets. Year after year, in major case after major case, there’s little beyond what the justices say during oral arguments that suggests how they will rule. That’s what makes the leak of an apparent draft of an opinion in a major abortion case a shock to court watchers. The draft published by Politico says that a majority of the court is prepared to overrule the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide. There have been leaks before, but not of such magnitude. Only a handful of people have access to decisions before they’re published.

UNDATED (AP) – If the U.S. Supreme Court follows through on overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide, it would split the country into states with abortion access and those that outlaw it. Democrats vowed to fight the possible removal of abortion rights that have been in place for nearly a half-century, while Republicans cheered the draft opinion and condemned the extremely rare leak that allowed it to be reported by Politico on Monday. About half of U.S. states are expected to ban abortion if Roe falls and 13 states have so-called trigger laws that would immediately ban abortion if it is overturned.