Local and state elected officials reacted angrily Monday to news that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark abortion protections offered by the Roe v. Wade decision that has dictated policy on the issue since 1973.
“It’s time for Congress to get off the sidelines,” Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, tweeted in response to the report. “We must protect the fundamental right to choose.”
Politico reported that the nation’s highest court has voted to strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling. Politico obtained what it called a draft ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito that opines, in part, “`Roe’ was egregiously wrong from the start.”’
“We hold that `Roe’ and `Casey’ must be overruled,” the document states, according to Politico. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Politico noted that the document is only a draft and could be changed dramatically, or even fundamentally changed, before it is published and finalized this summer.
But news of the ruling sparked a flurry of concern from some California elected leaders.
“Our daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers will not be silenced,” Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted. “The world is about to hear their fury. California will not sit back. We are going to fight like hell.”
Newsom has already stated that he would work to ensure California is a safe haven for women seeking abortions or other reproductive health care, regardless of where they live. Striking down Roe v. Wade would allow individual states to set limits on abortion.
Rep. Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, said if the ruling reported by Politico is finalized, “it would be devastating for women everywhere.”
“The radical majority (on the Supreme Court) would be throwing away decades of precedent and jeopardizing the health and lives of women,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s beyond shameful. Remember this November. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify `Roe’ into law. The Senate needs to act on this legislation. The filibuster must not continue to be used as an excuse.”
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, wrote on Twitter, “In case there was any doubt: the clock is ticking down to the end of legal abortion if Congress does not act. It’s time to #abolishthefilibuster and make the Women’s Health Protection Act law. In the meantime, abortion is still legal, and it’s still a right.”
On its social media channels, Planned Parenthood posted, “Let’s be clear: This is a draft opinion. It’s outrageous, it’s unprecedented but it is not final. Abortion is your right — and it is STILL LEGAL.”
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, wrote that the draft opinion “makes one thing abundantly clear: we simply can’t afford to wait. The Senate must send the Women’s Health Protection Act to (the president) now to protect access to safe abortion care and save lives.”