The scene outside the court ranged from somber to angry, with people consoling one another and questioning what to do next. Some who had gathered appeared to be in disbelief.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Samuel Alito’s gotta go,” the crowd chanted for a time.
“For 49 years, we have fought to make sure that we are able to make these decisions, not some lawmakers down the street, not somebody who honestly doesn’t even know how our bodies work. And now they are determined to take this right away from us,” Alexis McGill, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” Monday evening.
Planned Parenthood, she vowed, will work on “ensuring that people understand what is at stake right now. It is literally their bodies on the line.”
Sarah Lanford, a health care policy advocate from Texas, told CNN outside the court that she felt there was “nothing” that she could do. “I feel like I’m doing everything I can do in terms of organizing, registering voters, donating to abortion funds, and it’s just like not enough in a way that’s really frustrating,” she said.
Another in the crowd, Nick Butler, said people need to recognize “that they have power” to enact change as he urged everyone to consider those “who are going to be targeted” if Roe is struck down.
The draft was circulated in early February, according to Politico. The final opinion has not been released, and votes and language can change before opinions are formally released. The opinion in the case — Dobbs v. Jackson, which concerns a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week ban on abortion — is not expected to be published until late June.
Politico says it has authenticated the draft, but CNN has not independently confirmed the document’s authenticity. A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment to CNN.
Tension outside the court
At one point in the night, supporters of eliminating Roe v. Wade traded dueling chants outside the court even though abortion rights supporters far outnumbered others gathered.
The tense scenes underscored the galvanizing nature of the abortion debate in Washington and statehouses across the country. Overturning Roe would be the culmination of a decades-long project of the conservative legal moment.
The decision was reaffirmed in 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. A majority of the court in that case replaced Roe’s framework with a new standard to determine the validity of laws restricting abortions. The court said that a regulation cannot place an “undue burden” on the right to abortion, which is defined as a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”
But within the GOP, support for overturning Roe remains strong, and a number of Republican lawmakers celebrated the draft opinion Monday evening.
GOP Rep. Billy Long of Missouri, who is running for the Senate, said in a statement that he is “optimistic that these reports are true, and that the Supreme Court will do the right thing, finally overturning this travesty of a decision.”
Still, Roe is the law of the land until the court formally issues an opinion.
This story has been updated with additional information Tuesday.
CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Ariane de Vogue and Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.