The unprecedented leak to Politico Monday that five Supreme Court Justices may be gearing up to reverse the court’s landmark decision that has protected a woman’s right to choose for a half century has set off a firestorm of condemnations from pro-choice advocates and elected officials.
In 1973 the Roe v. Wade case, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws at the time.
The first draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Alito leaked to Politico on overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey calls the Roe decision “egregiously wrong from the start”. Alito’s opinion would allow states to decide on abortion restrictions or guarantees after nearly fifty years of federal constitutional protection.
“This is a devastating moment for our country, when lives are being threatened by a fringe minority determined to drag us back to the dangers of decades past,” remarked Mayor Michelle Wu. “It’s also a call to action—that Massachusetts must continue to lead. In Boston, we affirm our absolute commitment to protecting reproductive rights as core to building a city for everyone. We are here. We are ready. And we will continue to organize and legislate and fight for the future our communities deserve.”
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who represents East Boston, called Roe v. Wade, a woman’s right to choose and protecting women’s health a ‘fundamental’ right. With conservative attacks on Roe v. Wade ratcheting up in recent years, the House has passed legislation to protect women’s health and a woman’s right to choose.
“Abortion care is a fundamental human right and we must legislate like it,” she said. “The Senate must act before it’s too late. Abolish the filibuster. Pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked every member of the Senate, “What other judicial outrage must we endure from this illegitimate majority before we act? A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court majority appears set to destroy the right to abortion, an essential right which protects the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans.”
Warren said there was no other recourse but to expand the Supreme Court.
Warren was backed by Sen. Ed Markey who called for the end of the filibuster.
“Codify Roe v. Wade with a national law protecting abortion rights,” he said. “Expand the Supreme Court and stop this horrifying injustice in its tracks.”
Last week, the House reaffirmed its commitment to reproductive care by providing funding for reproductive care providers in its FY23 budget,
Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden said he fully supports Roe v. Wade.
“As a prosecutor and the chief law enforcement official in Suffolk County, I will always work in support of laws that protect access to reproductive healthcare,” he said. “Equitable access to health services – not just in Massachusetts but across our nation – helps ensure the rights and wellbeing of every woman. Public health is key to public safety, and it is a priority of my office.”
“Gratefully, reproductive rights are codified and protected here in Massachusetts due in large part to our work in the legislature. Issues with the Supreme Court should not come as a surprise,” said Rep. Dan Ryan. “We, in the legislature, were ahead of it. The so called ‘moral majority’ has been chipping away at our basic freedoms for generations; whether in the doctors office or the ballot box. This latest pending decision should be a wake-up call to rational minded people around the country that decades of national elections have consequences.”