The United States Supreme Court Friday has overturned Roe v. Wade, the decision that guaranteed women’s right to have an abortion, and lawmakers from Los Angeles have responded, one saying it is dangerous and divisive.
The ruling, ending the 49-year-old decision, puts abortion policy at the discretion of states, many that have restricted and outlawed the procedure in recent months.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said the decision is a betrayal of the commitments made by recent justices during their confirmation hearings, who indicated under oath they would uphold decades of legal precedent.
“It is a repudiation of some of our nation’s most cherished values, from the right to privacy to the right of everyone to make their own health care decisions,” Schiff said in a released statement. “The fact that this opinion does not come as a surprise does not make it any less traumatic for the millions of women now stripped of their access to safe and legal abortion; it does not make it any less frightening for the millions of people now worried about whether their fundamental freedoms will be the next to fall.”
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling is being described as the most significant curtailing of an established constitutional right in court’s history.
The opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. is similar to a draft that was leaked by Politico in May.
“We hold that Roe and [the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs.] Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.”
Schiff said the Supreme Court’s decision did not happen in a vacuum and has been in the works for years.
“After waging an all-out assault against abortion access for decades, after committing shocking acts of constitutional disrespect by withholding the confirmation of a justice nominated by a Democratic president and jamming through a Republican nominee during an election campaign, after conspiring with state legislators across the country to put forth some of the most draconian criminal penalties imaginable, Republicans are now one step closer to their ultimate goal: a nationwide ban on abortion,” Schiff said.
“Make no mistake, this court is not conservative — it is partisan, with a partisan and socially backward agenda.”
The opinion was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. concurred, but did not join the majority opinion. He said he would have upheld a Mississippi 15-week ban on abortion, but would have not overturned Roe v. Wade.
“The court’s decision to overrule Roe and Casey is a serious jolt to the legal system,” Roberts wrote.
Justice Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
“Today, the court … says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of,” their dissent read. “A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”
Schiff said, “We have come too far and fought too hard to enshrine the right to choose for Republicans to roll back the clock. We must bring an end to this national nightmare, and make sure the American people know that Democrats have always been and will always be the party fighting for women*s fundamental rights. We must codify Roe, and ensure women control their health care decisions for generations to come.”