Gov. Phil Murphy said it was "a truly dark day in America" after reports surfaced that the United States Supreme Court could be on the verge of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Vowing "New Jersey will not go backward on reproductive rights," Murphy sought to assure women that access to abortions and reproductive health care will remain available to anyone who needs it.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court refused to comment on the reports about a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.

The report was obtained and first published by Politico, which called the opinion a "full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights."

Alito writes: "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start."

However, draft reports are not the final word from the high court. Opinions often change in both big and small ways before the final judgment is issued. It is not clear how far into the process this draft opinion was written. It is dated Feb. 10.

The Associated Press and other media organizations have been unable to independently verify the draft's authenticity.

If it is verified, it offers a shocking revelation into the Supreme Court's highly secretive deliberation process.

It is estimated that if the court overturned Roe v. Wade, half of U.S. states would move to ban abortions.

The issue would also surely become one of the biggest flashpoints in the upcoming mid-term elections.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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