TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) -- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on Congress to pass federal legislation protecting the reproductive rights of all Americans. Murphy delivered remarks Tuesday morning following a report of a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion.
He condemned the idea of overturning Roe, but said New Jersey wouldn't be affected because the state has enshrined the right to an abortion into state law.
"If the Court takes this awful step, this decision will have no impact on New Jersey state law or the full right to reproductive freedom under our state law," Murphy said. "This remains fully intact, because here in New Jersey, instead of hoping for the best, we prepared ourselves for the worst."
Murphy took action to protect reproductive rights after Justice Arm Coney Barrett was placed on the high court.
Strong reaction erupted on both sides of the abortion issue after POLITICO received a copy of the 98-page draft opinion from a person familiar with the court's proceedings in the Mississippi abortion ban case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.
An official ruling has not been made yet, but if this draft opinion stands, women could lose their federally protected right to an abortion by the end of June – and that's already sparking protests.
Supports and opponents of abortion rights clashed outside of the Supreme Court early Tuesday morning in a preview for what could be a state-by-state fight if the decision becomes published.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy called the news of the report "a truly dark day in America" on Twitter.
He is also assuring New Jerseyans that if this draft opinion stands, it will not change the Garden State's "access to abortion."
Chief Justice John Roberts released a statement calling the leak a "betrayal of the confidences of the court:"
To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected
in any way.
We at the Court are blessed to have a workforce – permanent employees and law clerks alike – intensely loyal to the institution and dedicated to the rule of law. Court employees have an exemplary and important tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process and upholding the trust of the Court. This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here.
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