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Georgians respond to leaked Supreme Court Roe v. Wade draft opinion

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion regarding plans to overturn Roe v. Wade is drawing strong reactions from both sides of the aisle in Georgia.

The Supreme Court's proposed plans to overturn Roe v. Wade have abortion advocates on edge. Politico was the first news outlet to publish the opinion, which revealed plans to end abortion rights. According to Politico, the opinion was initially drafted in February.

Georgia WIN List is an organization seeking to elect Democratic women to advocate for reproductive freedom.

"We were shocked, because this is more sweeping and devastating to women than everyone anticipated," said Georgia WIN List Executive Director and Founding Chair Melita Easters. "Women's reproductive freedom is on the line, and every vote will matter."

Easters says it's not just about ending a pregnancy.

"It's about the kinds of hoops doctors might have to jump through when a woman is having a complicated pregnancy, when she suffers a miscarriage," she said.

Republican state lawmakers have been fighting for years to overturn the decision, saying the draft opinion protects "most fragile members" of the community.

"The Roe v. Wade decision was a brutal decision," said State Representative Ed Setzler (R-District 35). "It was wrongly decided in 1973, and I'm thankful that we've got some judges that we think are really on the cusp of righting that wrong and protecting these most fragile members of our human community."

Setzler wrote Georgia's House Bill 481, also referred to as Georgia's "heartbeat bill" in 2019. It bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, however, the measure remains on hold following a court challenge. A Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could help put the law into effect.

"I'm hopeful the court will finally right the wrong, the brutality of Roe V. Wade that has been in place," said Setzler.

Easters said that she is hoping that the attention from the leaked draft opinion will be noted at the polls. Early voting for Georgia's Democratic and Republican primaries began this week. Election Day is May 24.

"I'm gonna be wearing a pro-choice t-shirt and buttons when I go to early vote, and I encourage all the women who care about choice to do the same thing," said Easters.

Tuesday afternoon, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the draft document, but emphasized that it does not represent a final decision by the high court. Roberts went on to say that he has directed authorities to investigate the source of the leak.

"I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak," Roberts said in a statement.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement on Twitter saying he was in support of both an investigation by the Supreme Court as well as the development of "the strongest pro-life law in the country."

The US Supreme Court is expected to deliver its final opinion at some point before the end of the Court's session in June.

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