You’re Right to Be Furious About the Leaked SCOTUS Opinion—These Celebs and Politicians Are Right There With You

Photo credit: Getty + Khadija Horton - Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty + Khadija Horton - Getty Images

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On Monday night, as we were busy indulging in the sparkly dispatches from the first Monday in May (aka the 2022 Met Gala), a draft opinion of a Supreme Court ruling written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was leaked and published by Politico. In the draft, the majority of the Court (five of the nine justices) argues to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two landmark cases that ensured safe and legal abortion access throughout all 50 states. And although the opinion is just a draft for now, if passed (reportedly later this summer), it would end federal protections for abortion rights and reproductive justice, effectively leaving the issue up to each individual state. Thirteen states have already passed “trigger laws” that would immediately outlaw abortion if Roe is overturned.

Yes, this is a big f*cking deal.

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the draft reads. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

This news is undoubtedly difficult to process. Knowing the highest court in the land seeks to overturn the human right to bodily autonomy feels like a betrayal—albeit an unsurprising one, given the current makeup of the Supreme Court and the increasingly restrictive abortion laws that states across the country have passed in recent years. For many Americans, the abortion crisis is already here.

That being said, it’s important to remember that abortion is still legal today. And that you have options, like abortion pills by mail—although they’re not without their own barriers. Still, the Supreme Court’s potential decision feels dystopian, like something out of The Handmaid’s Tale. So we’ll say it: It’s hard to find a silver lining.

But let’s try. Maybe you feel alone today. Maybe you live in a Republican state and you’re crushed by the weight of immense dread for what might come. Maybe this moment feels triggering in 10 different ways. If you’re scared, stressed, anxious, or just so very tired…Team Cosmo is right there with you. And so are the people below. We reached out to celebrities, politicians, and thinkers to hear how they’re coping in this moment—and what they plan to do next.

Senator Elizabeth Warren: “I am angry that this extremist Supreme Court thinks they can impose their extreme views on Americans across the country. The United States Congress can protect this constitutional right for all Americans by eliminating the filibuster and passing a national law to protect abortion rights—we just need to get it done. This fight is far from over.”

Chelsea Handler, comedian, television host, and best-selling author: “There is no world in which men—who have never gotten pregnant, carried a child, or given birth and then raised that child alone—should be making decisions about what women do with their bodies. If you thought we were pissed off before, get ready.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “I woke up furious and heartbroken, tired and still defiant. Collectively, we are mourning the loss of control over our own bodies and futures and anticipating the pain that lies ahead for us and our communities across the country. Everything about the last 24 hours has been unprecedented—it is just egregious and outrageous that five Supreme Court justices are poised to take away the constitutional right to abortion. Make no mistake, the Court has failed us. Should this opinion echo the Court’s final decision, it will sound the alarms on all of the other civil rights that would turn back the clock not only 50 years but hundreds of years. Today and all the days to come will be about showing up as best we can—being loud and making sure that our outrage is palpable.”

Mika Brzezinski, political commentator and cohost of MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “This is going to have an indelible impact on our country’s strength as a democracy if it comes to pass. I implore women from both sides of the aisle to vote! Vote in the coming midterms and in every election statewide up to the presidency. It will be a vote for our rights as human beings in a democracy. This could be consequential in far more ways than the right to an abortion.”

Jameela Jamil, actor, activist, host of the podcast I Weigh: “I feel sickened, horrified, and terrified. I plan to fight until my last breath for reproductive rights. Bodily control is the very epitome of a basic human right. They do not only care for the futures of people with uteruses, they actively want to harm and suppress them. This is about control. This is not about the preservation of life. We can’t have abortions, but we can buy assault rifles? Please. This country has proven, even in a pandemic, it has no interest/plan of support for that child once it is out of the womb. This is about forced pregnancy, forced birth, and the theft of autonomy for half the country. Not to mention literally endangering their safety/health/lives…disgusting.”

Alyssa Milano, actor, producer, activist: “I feel betrayed. Betrayed by my country, betrayed by a Senate that values the filibuster more than the rights of women to our own bodies, betrayed by a Supreme Court that simply refuses to rise to the standard of trust and reliability the people demand of it, and betrayed by a government which has, for centuries, put women last—especially women of color. I mean, the Equal Rights Amendment has met every single constitutional threshold to be adopted, and somehow it’s still not in our Constitution! That tells you all you need to know about how America views women.

“We’re still working on what’s coming next, but I promise you it will be a fight like the anti-women enablers in government have never seen. I don’t care what party you’re from—if you’re not actively fighting, really fighting, for women’s rights to bodily autonomy, we’re coming for your seat.”

Margaret Cho, comedian, actor, advocate: “I feel terrible, and I plan to fight.”

Tess Holliday, model: “When I had my abortion, I was a married mom of two who just couldn’t handle another child, especially not within the context of an abusive marriage. I am overwhelmed by the impact that this court decision will have on our entire country—this isn’t a political issue, this is a human rights issue. This decision will harm the people who already face hardships in our society based on income, race, and access to health care. We cannot and will not stay quiet. We will continue to speak up for people of all genders who experience pregnancy and to be intersectional in our advocacy. If you want to take action, contact Planned Parenthood, especially in red states—they helped me and they will continue to help so many others when they need it most. Make sure you are registered to vote, and vote for reps who will address this through legislation on a federal level.”

Laura Bassett, editor-in-chief of Jezebel: “I’ve covered the anti-abortion movement for over a decade, so I saw this moment coming from miles away, but it still feels like a shock and a massive blow to the gut. I’m angry that a movement built on lies has managed to have this much success in this country, and I’m angry at Democrats for dropping the ball on this when Republicans have been explicitly clear about their plan all along. We’re going to keep reporting the hell out of this story and speaking truth to power, and we’re going to make sure Americans continue to fully understand the stakes of what is happening here.”

Jill Filipovic, journalist, lawyer, and author of OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind, who writes at “I’m not surprised, but I am livid, devastated, and betrayed. This is fundamentally about what country we want to live in: One in which women and men are relegated to traditional roles, with men dominating the public, political, and economic, and women subservient and dependent, or one in which every person in this nation gets to chart their own path and live freely in their own bodies. These are the stakes.

"And so yes, I will fight: For expanding the Court, for a national law enshrining abortion rights, for an end to the filibuster, for an end to the Electoral College so candidates who lose the popular vote for president can no longer subvert the will of the public, and for all of the democratic safeguards that protect women, minority groups, and our country.”

Brittany Packnett Cunningham, activist and host of the Undistracted podcast: “Just because I expected it doesn’t mean I’m any less disappointed. This was never and will never be just about abortion: It’s about the right to privacy and bodily autonomy—which means it’s also about race, voting rights, queer rights, and anything Justice Alito deems not ‘deeply rooted in history and tradition.’ As a Black woman, my citizenship isn’t even American tradition, so I’m not confused about what this all means.

“I’m following the lead of the many Black and Indigenous organizers, local abortion funds, and activists lawyers who have been preparing for this day, like Sister Song We Testify, the National Women’s Law Center, and the National Network of Abortion Funds. I’ll be donating, amplifying their work, and leveraging my networks to push for filibuster reform so Congress and the White House can codify our right to choose.

“I knew it would rain, so I packed my umbrella.”

Ricki Lake, executive producer of The Business of Birth Control: “I am angry. I am sad. I am in disbelief. As someone who is a longtime champion of reproductive rights, I have made multiple documentaries on reproductive health, I will continue to use my voice to amplify and educate about access to all forms of birth control, abortion, and informed consent. I also vow to help elect more leaders who will protect women’s basic rights.”

Liz Plank, filmmaker, award-winning journalist, and best-selling author: “Behind millions of successful men is an abortion they don’t regret getting with their partner. The men who have needed and benefited from abortion rights need to speak up now because their reproductive freedom is only as good as women’s. They must follow in the footsteps of the brave women who have shared their own abortion stories. The pro-choice movement must be gender-neutral if it is to be victorious.”

Monica Hesse, gender columnist at the Washington Post: “Every woman I’ve talked to knows that this is the most meaningful decision in her lifetime, a fundamental change in what it means to be a woman in America. Every woman I’ve talked to also knew this was coming and has spent the past five years being called hysterical for daring to predict it. It’s the sickest, saddest time to be exactly right.”

Koa Beck, author of White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind: “First of all, our country will never ban abortion. They will only ban legal abortion. This is a critical perspective to keep at the center of what could potentially happen next for people with uteruses.

“Activists and gender rights advocates have told me in no uncertain terms that Roe v. Wade would be challenged in my lifetime and that this was something American people across gender needed to be psychologically but also strategically prepared for. Republican lawmakers have been very clear, vocal, and deliberate about this goal since before I was born and their efforts have produced ample legislation that is waiting in the wings if/when Roe v. Wade is overturned. The landscape they have successfully erected means that there will be no ‘transition’ to a post–Roe vs. Wade world; that world is already here. More than 20 states will immediately outlaw abortion access if this legislation is overturned by the Supreme Court. Contrastly, other states have enshrined abortion access into their state constitution in preparation for this reality.

“Between these two initiatives, what we’re looking ahead at is not a full end to abortion—and I think it’s crucial to remember that with respect to the many people who will be impacted. What we are now looking at is a huge socioeconomic and racial divide on abortion access. Middle-class women who live in states like California and Vermont will continue to have legal abortion access if Roe vs. Wade is overturned. But if you’re a working-poor Latina in Texas, it’s highly unlikely that you will continue to have that right. And the anti-abortion movement has been widening this disparity well before this decision came to the Supreme Court.

“What this ultimately summons on the ground is an increasingly class- and racially literate gender rights movement that is nuanced enough in its strategies to challenge barriers of poverty and to prioritize the poor in feminism.”

Teresa C. Younger, president and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women: “The leaked decision is disappointing but not surprising. Now is the time to channel support and resources toward grassroots organizations and activists who have been preparing for this decision for years. We know that the communities facing these challenges have the solutions, and it is more critical than ever that we follow their leadership. As long as people can become pregnant and don’t have full bodily autonomy, the Ms. Foundation will be on the front lines, trusting women, fighting for reproductive justice, and eliminating barriers to abortion access.”

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project: “Although we have been preparing for the possibility that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade, seeing those words in the draft opinion was a gut punch. Justice Alito’s utter disregard for the impact on people’s lives is flat-out cruel. But whatever happens when the Court actually issues a decision, we must never give up. Everyone can fight back: Take to the streets to have your voices heard, contact your elected representatives, and support your local abortion movement, including abortion funds, health centers, and reproductive justice organizations.”

Monica Simpson, executive director, SisterSong: “We who believe in the human right to make our own decisions about our bodies and futures cannot rest until this white supremacist patriarchal capitalistic system is abolished. Women of color, low-income women, and LGBTQ+ communities face legal and systemic barriers to accessing abortion, even under Roe. So while abortion is still legal today, this leak alludes to a dangerous future, and the only path forward will be to follow the people who have never stopped fighting for their bodily autonomy.”

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