As if politics in the United States weren’t overheated enough, now comes the news, in the form of a leaked draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, that the constitutional right to get an abortion is likely to be overruled by a conservative majority on the court.

The draft opinion, leaked to news outlet Politico, appears to show the court voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that gave women broad access to terminations.

As the news broke, demonstrators – both abortion foes and advocates – gathered in front of the court. Newspapers blared the headlines while social media outlets were awash with speculation and outrage, interspersed with long threads by law professors.

The Conversation turned to Morgan Marietta, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, who is a Supreme Court scholar, to help readers understand the ramifications if the draft ruling becomes the actual one. Marietta points out that the right to get an abortion will no longer depend on the Constitution; it will largely depend on where someone lives.

For her part Emma Long unpacks the draft opinion, and what to expect next.

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Society

Abortion rights battles look set to go from the Supreme Court to statehouses. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Abortion right guaranteed by Roe will be replaced by state power if the Supreme Court adopts the leaked Alito opinion

Morgan Marietta, UMass Lowell

If the Supreme Court guts landmark rulings that established a constitutional right to abortion, the legal struggle will shift to statehouses and state courtrooms.

Protesters gather as news breaks about the Supreme Court decision. EPA

US supreme court poised to overturn abortion law: what the leaked opinion says and what happens next

Emma Long, University of East Anglia

What is the draft opinion about the landmark US abortion decision Roe v. Wade and how did we find out about it?

Curious Kids: what are NFTs – and why are they so expensive?

Francesc Rodriguez-Tous, City, University of London

The value of digital art or other digital objects depends on how much someone is willing to pay for it.

Raphael: it’s time we stopped dismissing Italy’s great painter as style over substance

Gabriele Neher, University of Nottingham

He may have been sidelined thanks to the Pre-Raphaelites, but Raphael’s talent and output were prodigious, ensuring his lasting appeal.