'Shocked' Bill Gates says a Roe v. Wade reversal 'would set us back 50 years'

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Bill Gates at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Bill Gates at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021Jeff J Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images
  • Bill Gates spoke out against a potential Roe v. Wade reversal on Tuesday.

  • The billionaire said overturning the landmark case would "set us back 50 years."

  • On Monday, Politico obtained a leaked draft opinion that appeared to show the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade.

Bill Gates weighed in on news that the Supreme Court may be considering overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Microsoft founder said he was "shocked" by news of a potential reversal of the landmark US ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion nearly 50 years ago. On Monday, Politico obtained a leaked draft opinion that appeared to show that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Insider was unable to confirm whether it was an authentic draft written by Justice Samuel Alito. A Supreme Court representative didn't respond to a request for comment from Insider.

"A reversal of Roe v. Wade would set us back 50 years and disproportionately impact the most vulnerable women in society," Gates tweeted on Tuesday. "I support a woman's right to make their own decisions about their health care."

It is not the first time that the billionaire has spoken out against anti-abortion legislation. In 2017, Gates expressed concern that former US President Donald Trump's "global gag rule," a policy that blocked funds to organizations that offer abortion advice and care in foreign countries, could endanger millions of women and children.

Gates joint philanthropic venture with his ex-wife, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has also donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and Family Planning. In 2021, the foundation pledged to invest over $2 billion over the course of five years toward gender equality, including helping women gain access to capital and reproductive health care.

A spokesperson for Gates and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.

The leaked Supreme Court document does not represent the final language of the ruling or the final vote. The actual decision from the court is expected to be announced by the end of June. The decision comes after a major abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, challenged Roe v. Wade.

The case is the result of a Mississippi law that seeks to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The law directly challenges the standards set forth by Roe v. Wade, which indicates that states cannot prohibit an abortion before about 24 weeks.

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