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Snopes Looks Back at Decades of Abortion Coverage

Snopes dug through the archives to find decades’ worth of abortion-related fact checks and reporting.

Published May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01: Demonstrators gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021 in Washington, DC. With the addition of conservative justices to the court by former President Donald Trump, experts believe this could be the most important abortion case in decades and could undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court officially struck down Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, and the federal abortion protections that had come with them.

The following analysis was originally published in May 2022, after a draft of Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, striking down Roe v Wade, was leaked.


On May 2, 2022, an anonymous source of Politico leaked a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that suggested a majority of the justices supported overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion case. 

Approaching its 50-year anniversary, the ruling legalized abortion nationwide and if overturned, the 2022 ruling reportedly stated that there is “no constitutional right to abortion services and would allow individual states to more heavily regulate or outright ban the procedure.”

A report by The New York Times confirmed the authenticity of the draft opinion but noted that the opinion was just that — a draft. The leaked version was not finalized, and the opinions held within the document could change ahead of its expected June publishing. 

It was a rare breach. Before this instance, there had never been a leak to the press of a full draft opinion on a case pending before the court in the modern era. (That said, there have been leaks of other types of documents before, including accounts of internal deliberations.)

What is not rare is the center stage role the controversial procedure has secured in U.S. politics. Through the decades, Snopes has covered digital rumors and contentious quotes surrounding abortion, from that time U.S. President Joe Biden once said that Roe v. Wade “went too far” to a widely circulated claim that “1 in 4 women” will undergo an abortion in their lifetimes.

Considering recent events, Snopes dug through our archives to find decades’ worth of abortion-related coverage.

U.S. Supreme Court
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pro-abortion protesters
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Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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Chris Smith Congressman New Jersey
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Viagra
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girl scouts
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Madison Dapcevich is a former writer for Snopes.

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