In the days following the leaked draft opinion of a case that could potentially allow abortion to be made illegal in various states, there were multiple instances of vandalism.
An anti-abortion group in Madison, Wisconsin had their offices vandalized by graffiti, fire, and molotov cocktails. The Madison police released a statement that the attack happened at approximately 6 AM on Sunday, May 8th. They initially received a complaint about a fire, then noticed graffiti with messages painted on the building and materials for molotov cocktails nearby. There was also a message that read “if abortion isn’t safe you aren’t either” among the damage. Federal law enforcement was also assisting the local police in Madison with the investigation. While no one was injured during the attack, officials were still trying to tally the total amount of property damage related to the fire and other forms of vandalism.
Earlier in the week, a church in the Denver area had similar problems with vandalism. The venue known as Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Boulder, Colorado had smashed windows and graffiti spray painted on various parts of the building. The local archdiocese released a statement that the total amount of damage was in the thousands of dollars. Church employees showed up Wednesday morning to find the graffiti on the statutes near the church and exterior walls. There were also multiple windows that had been broken. The spokesperson for the archdiocese commented that he was not surprised that they were targeted, although the response was not expected by the local community until the final draft was published in the coming months.
Attorneys near me who focus on civil rights issues have been commenting on how the case may affect the nation and access to healthcare related to abortions.
Unprecedented Supreme Court leak
These events began as a response to an illegally leaked draft opinion regarding the overturning of the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade, which was decided approximately fifty years ago. In the draft opinion, Justice Alito writes for the majority of the court saying that there is no constitutional right to abortion, and that each state is given the authority to legislate based on the fact that the constitution does not mention abortion anywhere. This leaves open the possibility that some states could eventually choose to outlaw abortion entirely, although there has been some misunderstanding that the opinion will cause abortion to be illegal everywhere in the country. The opinion is not legally binding until the final document is delivered as the opinion of the court, and it could possibly change before publication. These acts of violence have been characterized as an attempt to influence the court for political reasons, which is frowned upon.
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