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Leaked SCOTUS draft shakes up the state of abortion politics

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River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

This week, a draft opinion from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was leaked. The opinion, as written, appears to erode federal privacy rights, on which the landmark Roe v. Wade case was built, leaving the issue of abortion rights to states.

The leak drew criticism from the right, and Chief Justice John Roberts has called for an investigation. The left blasted the opinion which would effectively eliminate a woman's right to access abortion services, at least in states that have outlawed or severely restricted abortion.

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Rachel Paine Caufield of Drake University and Jonathan Hassid of Iowa State University about what all of this means politically, heading into the midterm elections. They also discuss other political news of the week, including efforts by the Iowa Democratic Party to keep Iowa's first-in-the-nation status.


  • Rachel Paine Caufield, professor of political science, director of The Caucus Project, Drake University
  • Jonathan Hassid, associate professor of political science, Iowa State University
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Katherine Perkins is IPR's Program Director for News and Talk