NEW YORK (WABC) -- Reaction is pouring in across the Tri-State area Tuesday after an apparent draft Supreme Court opinion opinion obtained by Politico shows the panel's conservative majority of justices is ready to overturn nearly 50 years of established abortion rights precedent since Roe v. Wade.
As soon as the story broke Monday night, people began gathering outside the Supreme Court, some sitting with candles, some chanting about the apparent author of the draft opinion, Justice Samuel Alito.
"Sadly, while enraging, this news is hardly surprising," New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said. "This court, stacked with Trump appointees, could not be trusted to protect women's reproductive rights."
Murphy called on Congress to pass federal legislation protecting a woman's reproductive rights.
"If that means reforming the filibuster, then we need to reform the filibuster," he said.
Map of projected abortion access if Roe v. Wade is struck down:
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said her state would welcome those who need access to abortion.
"I refuse to let my new granddaughter have to fight for the rights that generations have fought for & won, rights that she should be guaranteed," she posted on Twitter. "Abortion will always be safe & accessible in New York."
Hochul said she is "absolutely horrified" by the court's "deeply disturbing" draft.
"As a woman, this is personal," she said. "We will not stand idly by. Anyone who needs care, we welcome you with open arms."
Hochul and soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado spoke at a Planned Parenthood rally in Albany on Tuesday night.
The governor said she's "mad as hell," making the argument that legalized abortion was an issue during her mother's generation and remains an issue in both her and her daughter's generation.
Delgado says this is about power. "It's about controlling bodies," he said. "And whether that's through reproductive rights, whether that's through who can go to the ballot box, it is about exercising control."
In our area, thousands of demonstrators filled Foley Square Tuesday night and blocked off traffic on Lafayette Street in protest, one of many that happened across the country.
The still pending final ruling has enraged a generation that grew up thinking access to safe and legal abortion was settled, and never imagined taking to the streets to secure what they were told was their constitutional right.
"New York City knows that a woman's right to make her own health care decisions is hers and hers alone," Mayor Eric Adams said on Twitter. "This potential assault on their freedom by right wing extremists cannot stand. We're ready to fight like hell."
WATCH | What will the reversal of Roe V. Wade mean for Americans?
Attorney General Letitia James headlined the Foley Square rally, joining what organizers call "hundreds of advocacy groups, elected officials, and concerned New Yorkers at a rally in support of abortions rights in this nation."
Additionally, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams was joined on the steps of City Hall by the Council's Women's Caucus and women's reproductive rights advocates to express support for abortion rights and urge a final Supreme Court opinion that protects the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
"A woman's right to control our own reproductive health choice is not only a decades-long federally protected right, but it's also an essential human right of self-determination," Adrienne Adams said. " That right has been under assault across the United States, really since day one. But here we are in the year 2022. You would think it was the year 1950...it is clear that our worst fears are coming true."
Planned Parenthood posted its response on Twitter.
"Let's be clear: This is a draft opinion," the organization wrote. "It's outrageous, it's unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is your right - and it is STILL LEGAL."
Anti-abortion advocates, however, embraced the draft opinion.
"If the draft opinion made public tonight is the final opinion of the court, we wholeheartedly applaud the decision," the group Susan B. Anthony List tweeted.
Some states had already been preparing for the potential that the high court could weaken or overturn Roe, including Connecticut, which recently passed legislation protecting abortion providers in their states from lawsuits.
Governor Ned Lamont on Tuesday reaffirmed his commitment to signing the first-in-the-nation bill to protect medical providers and patients.
"I am very appreciative to the majority of lawmakers in Connecticut who had the foresight to draft this legislation at a time when the right to a safe and legal abortion in America is in jeopardy," he said. "I am proud to stand up for access to reproductive healthcare and reproductive freedom. As long as I am governor of this great state, we'll never waiver on the right to choose, and the belief that medical decisions should be made between a patient and their doctor. As soon as this bill is transmitted to my office, I will sign it into law."
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