The nation was roiled on Tuesday by the revelation of the Supreme Court’s private vote to strike down the constitutional right to abortion, as shockwaves rippled through American politics, thousands protested in the streets, and Chief Justice John Roberts vowed to investigate the leak of the draft court opinion.

A court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that has protected abortion rights for nearly 50 years, would have seismic consequences, including the immediate ban of abortion in a quarter of states. The publication of the draft Monday night by Politico set off a similarly explosive reaction, from the halls of Congress to the streets of cities like Philadelphia.

Republican lawmakers in some states called for special sessions to take up abortion-limiting legislation, while Democrats denounced the opinion and called on Congress to codify abortion rights in federal law. The revelation also thrust abortion into the spotlight for the midterm elections, including critical races for Senate and governor in Pennsylvania.

In Philadelphia, hundreds of abortion-rights supporters marched through Center City on Tuesday evening, chanting “My body, my choice” as they made their way down Market Street. Under late sunlight at City Hall, a sea of protesters waved signs and cheered as activists and elected officials spoke.

“We damn sure deserve the right to control our own bodies,” City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier told the crowd.

» READ MORE: Leaked Supreme Court draft opinion would overturn Roe v. Wade, Politico reports

The Supreme Court is due to announce its decision in the case, which concerns Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks, by the end of June. If the court overturns the constitutional protection of abortion rights, it will put abortion regulation in the hands of the states.

A blow to Roe, though not necessarily complete overturning, had been widely expected from the conservative court. Roberts confirmed the draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito was authentic but said it was not final, calling the leak an “egregious breach.”

President Joe Biden said he hoped the court would not ultimately have the votes to overturn abortion rights. He warned that striking down Roe v. Wade, which hinges on a guaranteed right to privacy, could threaten “a whole range of rights,” not just abortion.

Democrats called for voters in the midterm elections to give them the wider majority in Congress they’d need to pass legislation securing abortion rights.

“At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law,” Biden told reporters.

Raised voices

Republican lawmakers, meanwhile, including Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, largely focused on condemning the leak of the opinion to Politico, some suggesting it was a tactic to pressure the court and calling for investigation. Some Republicans in states including South Dakota, Georgia, and Indiana, prepared to immediately consider antiabortion legislation.

The ruling brought elation for some Republicans and antiabortion advocates, while many criticized the leak. Some opted to wait for an official ruling before celebrating publicly. Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesperson Kenneth Gavin would not comment Tuesday, saying that any discussion would be “purely speculative.”

Few antiabortion protesters showed up to the Center City demonstration. One was Angel Pedraza of North Philadelphia, who said he was “devastated” by the show of support for Roe.

”Save our babies!” Pedraza shouted, feet away from the federal courthouse on Market Street. “Kids can be adopted. You don’t have to kill babies.”

» READ MORE: What an anti-abortion ‘heartbeat bill’ backed by GOP candidates for Pa. governor would actually do

Abortion-rights supporters flooded the streets — sometimes countered by antiabortion demonstrators — demonstrating outside the fenced-off Supreme Court and across the country. In Philadelphia, close to 1,000 people gathered at City Hall before hundreds marched to the courthouse.

Early in the evening, Carol Mickey, 80, stood outside Philadelphia’s federal courthouse with a large sign, a sense of outrage, and a 54-year-old memory to fuel her demonstration.

In 1968, Mickey said, she almost died after falling while six months pregnant with her second child. A priest had already given her last rites when a judge ruled to allow doctors to proceed with an abortion. Her husband had to sign off.

“And people wonder why I march,” said Mickey, of Conshohocken. “That never goes away.”

Eyes on Pennsylvania

The case’s outcome is particularly high-stakes for states such as Pennsylvania, where Republican lawmakers are prepared to sharply restrict abortion. Every Republican candidate for governor supports banning or limiting abortion. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed bills restricting abortion in his two terms, and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the de facto Democratic nominee, has pledged to protect abortion rights.

If the opinion is made final, abortion would remain legal in states that do not enact bans. Under current state law, abortion until 24 weeks will remain legal in Pennsylvania even if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade. But battleground Pennsylvania is vulnerable to new legislation — unlike neighboring New Jersey and Delaware, where abortion rights are codified into state law.

» READ MORE: Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court nearly struck down Roe v. Wade in a Pennsylvania case. The justices chose another way.

Pennsylvania Democrats, including Sen. Bob Casey, criticized the draft decision. In a statement, Toomey, Pennsylvania’s Republican senator, did not address the abortion debate but said the leak “undermines the court as an institution” and urged the justices to “disregard the resulting explosion of heated rhetoric from both sides of the political spectrum.”

Wolf, who is set to speak on the issue at Independence Mall on Wednesday morning, said the court’s opinion, if final, would set back reproductive health care by decades and have “monumental, horrific consequences.”

“I will continue to veto any legislation that threatens access to abortion and women’s health care,” said Wolf, whose second term ends in January. “This is an attack on privacy, on bodily autonomy, and on the right to health care — but more than that, it’s an attack on our future.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that he was relieved he had signed legislation in January that codified the right in the state’s constitution. In an interview on MSNBC, the Democrat said: “War has been declared on the American woman.”

» READ MORE: ‘A truly dark day in America’: Pennsylvania, New Jersey governors react to leaked Supreme Court draft

Fears of a ripple effect

The loss of abortion rights in multiple states would have far-reaching consequences, abortion-rights supporters said: an increase in pregnancy-related deaths, potential lasting impacts on those who give birth after being denied an abortion, and disproportionate effects on low-income people and people of color. Research indicates nearly one in four women is expected to have an abortion in their lifetimes.

It will also likely lead to pressure on states that keep abortion legal; many people in Texas and other states where restrictions have been tightened have flooded into nearby states. Already, Pittsburgh-based Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania has seen many patients from surrounding states and expects to see more, said spokesperson Sara Dixon.

» READ MORE: Here’s where the candidates for Pennsylvania governor stand on abortion

More than half of states would likely ban or severely restrict abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and 13 states have a “trigger law” that would ban abortion as soon as Roe was struck down.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws protecting the right to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

Like Biden and other elected officials, many protesters were concerned the decision could threaten other liberties. For Greyson Van Arsdale, 23, an organizer with Philly Socialist Alternative and a transgender man who said he still has a “fully functioning female reproductive system,” the reasoning threatens access to more than abortion.

“It sets the precedent that former precedents around gay marriage, around homosexuality in general, interracial marriages, even contraception and the right of people to not to be forcibly sterilized — those things are now on the chopping block,” he said.

The court’s draft opinion also represents a threat to racial justice, said some Black pastors. Black people are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth and get abortions at higher rates than white people, in part due to less access to health care.

“This Supreme Court feels like, if given a chance, it would do everything in its power to roll back the advances of Black Americans,” said the Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Society Hill, who said the court’s potential decision also portended potential threats to voting rights. “What the court’s direction signals is far greater than the discussion around Roe.”

Contributing to this article were staff writers Ximena Conde, Rita Giordano, Valerie Russ, Rob Tornoe, Erin McCarthy, Harold Brubaker, Oona Goodin-Smith, Anna Orso, Chris Brennan, Max Marin, and Julia Terruso.