(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday, May 4, announced his continued support in protecting abortion rights in the commonwealth.

Elected officials along with abortion rights advocates and abortion opponents were sent scrambling earlier this week when a Supreme Court of the United States draft opinion was leaked to the press. The leaked opinion indicated the court was likely to overturn the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision, which had set precedent allowing abortions to be federally protected in the United States. Proponents of abortion rights have organized protests outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, while opponents to abortion have celebrated the leaked opinion as a protection of life.

During a May 4 press conference with the commonwealth’s First Lady and members of Planned Parenthood, Wolf characterized the Supreme Court draft opinion as an “attack.”

“Today, I am angry,” Wolf said. “The right to bodily autonomy is under attack. Overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t about preserving life. It’s about exerting control. I don’t think it’s possible to overemphasize the seismic shift this represents in America’s approach to privacy, to personal autonomy, to health care rights. I stand today assuring Pennsylvanians that abortion access and reproductive health care will remain legal and safe as long as I am governor.”

A news release from Wolf’s office noted that he already had vetoed three anti-abortion bills passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly during his tenure as governor. It was also noted that Wolf has joined with 16 other governors to call for the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which passed the U.S. House in September 2021 but hadn’t yet passed the Senate.

Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania President and CEO Dayle Steinberg reaffirmed the organization’s legal ability to perform its work.

“First and foremost, let’s be clear: Abortion is still safe and legal. Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania is still providing abortion care,” Steinberg said. “The Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion is an unprecedented, gut-wrenching blow to our freedoms. The consequences of this impending decision will be swift and devastating for communities nationwide. At PPSP, we know that banning abortion does not remove people’s need for abortion services. PPSP is here for you with resources to access the abortion care you need. We believe your body is your own. You and only you should control your personal medical decisions. No politicians, no bans and no court ruling should interfere in your ability to access abortion.

“Generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect the rights we have today. Planned Parenthood will not back down. We are furious, and we will fight back.”

On May 3, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of Erie issued a statement commending the draft opinion, noting that the draft opinion would give the authority to regulate abortions to individual states.

“If the reports are true about the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision, this is a major victory for the pro-life movement,” Kelly said. “I’ve spent many years advocating for the unborn and the principle that abortion law should be enacted by the people’s elected representatives, not activist justices. I’m proud to be an advocate for the unborn, and I will continue to advance my legislation, the Heartbeat Protection Act, through Congress in the months and years to come.

“If the reports are true about the upcoming decision, the marches, the speeches, the standing, the dedication, the faith, and the prayers did avail much for a greater moral good,” Kelly added.

According to a report from The Hill, the draft was initially penned in February. The Hill also noted that justices change their opinions multiple times before an opinion is published.

For news delivered right to yousubscribe to JET 24/FOX 66/YourErie.com’s breaking, daily news & severe weather email lists

The Supreme Court has announced that it will investigate the leak.