A leaked draft from the U.S. Supreme Court predicting a decision overturning Roe v. Wade prompted a strong reaction May 3 in Tarrant County and across Texas:

  • Fort Worth District 9 Councilmember Elizabeth Beck volunteers as an attorney for the nonprofit Jane’s Due Process and represents young women who want to have an abortion. An attack on Roe v. Wade is an attack on freedom, she said. She wore a Planned Parenthood shirt during a council meeting on May 3.

    “I have seen the fear and the desperation on these young women’s faces when faced with an unwanted pregnancy and I think forcing these young girls to become mothers will have a lasting impact on Fort Worth, on Texas, on the nation,” Beck said. 
  • Patrick Svacina, a spokesman for the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese, declined to comment on a leaked document and unofficial decision. In a text message, Svacina said the Catholic church has advocated to overturn Roe v. Wade for decades and supports the unborn child.
  • Jonathan Covey, director of policy for Texas Values, a group that has advocated for restricting abortion for years, supported the drafted decision.

    “We believe 100%, that Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” Covey said. “And we’re hopeful that this day will come soon. Texas is ready to support babies and mothers and families on what is really a basic human issue.”
  • Marva Sadler, the senior director of clinical services in Whole Woman’s Health in Fort Worth, said she was shocked but not surprised by the leaked draft of the decision. Working for an organization that acts as the largest independent abortion provider in the United States, she said the team has to be prepared for a decision like this.

    “We’ve been pressed for many, many years to have to prepare for the worst and most times having to work within and figure out how to work through the worst,” Sadler said.

    The organization has already had to adapt to the Texas law SB-8, which bans abortions after six weeks, and made the Abortion Wayfinder Program as a resource. 
  • Meg Penrose, a professor of law at Texas A&M University, noted that a draft of a court decision is just a draft – not a final decision. It’s not uncommon for drafts to circulate and change along with votes.

    “Until the opinion is rendered by the court and published, it is simply a draft,” Penrose said. “And I would anticipate that there are multiple versions going back and forth among the justices, in most cases.”

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Avatar photo

Seth Bodine

Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....