Is the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to overturn 50 years of precedent and set a course for states to severely curtail abortion rights in the United States?

A highly unusual leaked document suggests that it is. If so, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has made it clear that the Garden State will continue to protect abortion rights.

The Supreme Court appears ready to overturn its landmark decisions establishing the right to an abortion, according to a draft opinion obtained and published by Politico.

The leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court is unprecedented in modern times and has already sent shockwaves through Washington and the nation.

Late Monday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the court after Politico published the report suggesting the conservative majority is preparing to fully overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision establishing the right to an abortion.

According to CBS News, Democrats and Republicans alike issued statements reacting to the reported draft and the implications it would have if such a ruling was ultimately handed down. Planned Parenthood tweeted, "Let's be clear: This is a draft opinion. It's outrageous, it's unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL."

The draft published by Politico indicates it was written by Justice Samuel Alito. It did not say which other justices joined in the opinion, but Politico noted that a person familiar with the court's deliberations said four other conservative justices, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, voted with Alito during closed-door discussions after oral arguments and have not changed their positions.

It's unclear whether Chief Justice John Roberts will join the conservative majority, according to Politico.

The justices could change their votes in the days or weeks leading up to the decision's release.

The Supreme Court's opinion in the case of Mississippi law involves banning abortions after 15 weeks. It is expected to be handed down before the justices conclude their term by late June or early July.

"I want to assure every New Jerseyan that today's news about the Supreme Court does not change access to abortion in our state," said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.  "Access to reproductive health care remains available to anyone who needs it in New Jersey."

In January, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill protecting abortion rights in New Jersey.

The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act guarantees "the fundamental right of reproductive autonomy."

“The United States Supreme Court is preparing to take a wrecking ball to its own precedent Roe v. Wade, and that would also demolish our case-law-based foundation here in New Jersey,” Murphy said at the time of the signing. “Neither I nor those with me today can let that happen.”

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