BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — If the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade, it would put the decision in the hands of each state to allow, restrict or ban abortion entirely.
If this ruling is made official, it will come as a huge blow to those fighting for pro-choice and women's right to choose. But it could mean a massive victory for the pro-life movement.
For nearly 50-years, there has been a clear divide in the abortion debate between those who call themselves pro-lifers and those who say they are pro-choice.
The pro-life movement says it defends the rights of the unborn. Those fighting for pro-choice say a woman should be the one making a decision about their body.
Both sides remain deeply divided.
Planned Parenthood tells 7 News they are quote “horrified” by this possible supreme court decision.
“The situation is a real blow to people who want to be able to control their own bodies,” declared Michelle Casey, president & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York.
As of now, Casey tells me she believes the leaked opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade will become reality.
On the pro-life side of the aisle, supporters are cautiously optimistic the supreme court will follow through.
“This is a leak and it serves to degrade and undermind the institutional integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court as well as other institutions,” remarked Michele Sterlace, executive director of Feminists Choosing Life in New York.
Sterlace is also a Western New Yorker.
“We see it as a step forward to re-humanize humanity,” Sterlace noted.
“Would this be considered just such a massive victory for your organization and for the whole pro-life movement?” Buckley asked.
“I don't think anyone really in the arena looks so much to wins and losses and victories or no victory — if the united state's supreme court does in fact overturn Roe vs. Wade. It’s something that we are expecting,” replied Sterlace.
“I believe that this decision is going to stand Justice Roberts has confirmed that it is the first draft. They may change some of the wording, but the fact that they are going to overturn Roe will stand,” responded Casey.
Here in New York State, the 2019 Reproductive Health Act protects a women's right to choose.
“Abortion care is still safe and legal here and that's an option that is available to you — if you want to choose that,” noted Caesy.
Governor Kathy Hochul spoke out Tuesday against the potential decision that could overturn the 1973 court ruling.
“My promise is that here in the State of New York — we will not stand idly by — anyone who needs care, we welcome you with open arms,” Hochul announced.
One thing both sides told me they agree with is how this could have a negative impact on the underserved and those living in poverty.
“New York State already has the highest rate of abortion of any state and so we in New York need to work especially hard to draw alongside women facing unplanned pregnancies — specifically those who are underserved and poor,” stated Sterlace.
“People will fall into three buckets; people who don't get the care that they want, people who self-manage their own abortion, and people who seek out care in other locations,” said Casey.