SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Lawmakers are reacting to the United States Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had protected a woman’s right to choose an abortion nationwide.
Reactions from local lawmakers
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) issued a statement that today’s decision is the achievement of “the GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.”
“Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party and their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers. With Roe now out of their way, radical Republicans are charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom.”Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi warned that congressional Republicans “are plotting a nationwide abortion ban.”
“In the states, Republicans want to arrest doctors for offering reproductive care and women for terminating a pregnancy. GOP extremists are even threatening to criminalize contraception, as well as in-vitro fertilization and post-miscarriage care,” Pelosi continued. “This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November.”
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) stated that “today is a dark day for our country.”
“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the conservative majority on this Supreme Court has declared that women no longer have the right to control their own bodies. This decision is an outrage for the women of this nation and will have catastrophic consequences for generations.”Dianne Feinstein
Feinstein continued that “Make no mistake, some women will die because of this decision – whether through unsafe and unregulated abortions, a lack of access to medically necessary lifesaving abortions, or suicide. I remember those dark days, passing a plate in college to collect money for a classmate to go to Mexico for an abortion. This court has returned us to that shameful past.”
Feinstein called on Congress to codify the right to choose abortion.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued a lengthy statement of his own in conjunction with the governors of Oregon and Washington state.
“The Supreme Court has made it clear – they want to strip women of their liberty and let Republican states replace it with mandated birth because the right to choose an abortion is not ‘deeply rooted in history’. They want to turn back the clock to a time when women had no right to make decisions about their own bodies, when women had to seek care in the shadows and at great danger, when women were not treated as equal citizens under the law.”Gavin Newsom
“This is another devastating step toward erasing the rights and liberties Americans have fought for on battlefields, in courthouses and in capitols. This is not the America we know – and it’s not the California way,” Newsom continued. “California has banded together with Oregon and Washington to stand up for women, and to protect access to reproductive health care. We will not sit on the sidelines and allow patients who seek reproductive care in our states or the doctors that provide that care to be intimidated with criminal prosecution. We refuse to go back and we will fight like hell to protect our rights and our values.”
- Sen. Alex Padilla denounced the ruling as a “draconian decision” that will deprive Americans of the “basic freedom to make decisions for their own bodies.” He expressed concern that it will jeopardize other rights, such as “the right to marry who you love, the right to privacy and the right to access contraception.”
Padilla promised to work in the Senate to protect reproductive rights under federal law.
“With so much on the line, I also urge every American to make their voice heard, especially at the ballot box, to ensure that this generation of women is not left with fewer rights than their mothers.”Alex Padilla
Padilla added that today’s decision resulted from “a Republican effort to radicalize our Supreme Court” and “provoked a crisis of legitimacy at the Supreme Court.”
- San Francisco Mayor London Breed called the decision “devastating” in a tweet.
KRON ON is streaming live
“San Francisco has proudly served for generations as a place that respects fundamental civil rights, including a women’s right to choose,” Breed continued. “The ramifications from this Supreme Court ruling on public health, poverty, and so many downstream consequences have yet to be seen, but right now, women are scared about what this means for them, for their daughters, for all of us. San Francisco cannot correct national policy, but we can ensure that those in in this city are safe from anyone who want to criminalize medical care and that we are working with the entire Bay Area to prepare for any impacts of this decision.”
- The San Francisco Department of the Status of Women “has identified next steps San Francisco will take to both prepare for any influx of people traveling from out-of-state as well as minimize the harm from this ruling,” a city press release states, adding that the department:
- has begun coordinating providers, advocacy organizations and government agencies to better understand the services that are available in the region, and what’s needed,
- has begun measuring the capacity of abortion care services locally, and
- is distributing $250,000 in emergency grants for local organizations for immediate capacity building.
- Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) told KRON4 that “this is a court that has been politicized as never before,” and warned of the implications for contraception and same-sex marriage, considering Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion that those precedents should be reconsidered.
“This is government-mandated pregnancy,” Speier said. “Think about that. … There’s obviously every number of pills and IUDs. They argue that is preventing the fetus from implanting.”Jackie Speier
Speier said that “this is really taking women back to another time, to a really dark time. If you take their position it’s really not about the sanctity of life.”
- Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Vallejo) told KRON4 that “the message is loud and clear: elections have consequences. We can’t agonize, we have to organize. We have to make sure we put people in office who make appointments that align with the values of the American people. In our home state of California we are fortunate the governor and the state legislature have acted to support women and their reproductive decisions.”
- Rep. John Garamendi (D-Davis) told KRON4 that “this Roe v. Wade elimination and the protections for women, the privacy available to them, that’s gone as far as the Supreme Court is concerned.”
“We’re waking up in a different world.”John Garamendi
He added that California is going to pass an amendment codifying the right to an abortion in the state constitution.
- State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) told KRON4 that the decision harkens back to a time when “women were second-class citizens.”
“It’s just disgusting,” Wiener said.
“They want to allow states to ban contraception,” Wiener said. “Imagine that: a state passing laws against contraception. That’s how off the rails this court is.”
- State Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) called the decision “a step backwards for our entire country.”
Reproductive access and bodily autonomy are basic human rights.Dave Cortese
“Today is a step backwards for our entire country. To overturn 50 years of legal precedent and take away a women’s constitutional right to abortion access is an exceptionally devastating decision and a threat to women and working families across America,” he said. “With the Supreme Court leaving it up to states to uphold these rights, the State of California and State Legislature is committed to protecting reproductive freedom, so that women don’t need to resort to unsafe abortions which will be the brutal reality for many women across our country due to this unjust and hypocritical decision.”
- Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who represents south of Market, said that the decision has “grave consequences” for women and others across the country.
“The ruling plunges women back to a dark time in our history that we once couldn’t have imagined, but which became possible with a 2016 election that would solidify a far-right majority on our U.S. Supreme Court,” Dorsey said in a press release.
He added that Supreme Court decisions from past years, such as Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), Hollingsworth v. Perry (2013) and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), all released in June, have given a reason for the LGBTQ+ community a “cause to celebrate during Pride.”
“But today’s high court has robbed us of all cause to celebrate,” he continued. “Pride 2022 can’t just be a celebration, but a call to action. We knew today’s ruling would be ominous, but Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion on Dobbs (2022) makes clear that Roe is only the first target for this court’s far-right majority. Elections have consequences, and we must all do our part now to protect and expand rights rather than diminish them.”
- California Attorney General Rob Bonta called the decision “outrageous, unprecedented and dangerous.” He said that California will continue strengthening and expanding the right to safe and legal abortions.
“As Attorney General, I will use the full force of the law and the full authority of my office to protect reproductive healthcare for every person who seeks it in California,” Bonta said. “Abortion remains a legally protected right in our state and, in California, we won’t backslide.”
- Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) criticized the Court for “tearing apart decades of legal precedent.”
“A cascade of dire consequences and restrictions will now sweep across the country, falling hardest on those who already face the most barriers to care: Black and Brown women, folks who can’t afford care, young people and LGBTQ people, and women suffering domestic violence are now all at the highest risk,” Huffman said in a press release. “This radical conservative court – put into power largely by presidents who lost the popular vote – have now stripped away the freedoms of millions of people in America, putting their health care decisions in the hands of politicians.”
- State Representative Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) expressed her concern over the Supreme Court’s decision at a press conference for the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. She fears the decision will lead to underground abortions in states where they become illegal.
This is the first time in my generation that we’ve lost a right — the right to choose.”Cristina Garcia
Garcia assured that California will become “a beacon of hope” for women across the country who need abortions. She expressed that she is proud to live in a state that protects abortion rights.
The Women’s Caucus is “strong” and “determined,” she added. “We will fight like hell.”
- State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) “is pissed” about the decision, she said at the press conference.
“This is about power,” she said. “Our bodies are being used as pawns in that game.”
Skinner referenced laws in some states that will force women to carry babies to term against their wills, even in cases of rape or incest. California is working to pass new laws that will further protect rights to abortion and contraception, she added. In November, California voters will decide whether to pass an amendment to the state constitution that would protect abortion rights.
- Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis assured that the right to abortion will continue to be legal in California “as long as the women of the Women’s Caucus are able to fight.” They will also work to protect women who come to California seeking an abortion.
The religious right will continue to target rights such as those to abortion, she added. “We’re going to be ready to fight.”
She said that this decision has weakened the Supreme Court as an institution. “How can six individuals decide they are going to strip away a right that has been here for 50 years?” she said. “That will not stand.”
- State Representative Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) is “outraged” about the decision, she said at the press conference. “Every person deserves access to reproductive care without barriers.”
She added that abortion bans will not stop abortions from happening. They will “simply make them dangerous in the states that outlaw” them and people will lose their lives, she said.
Cervantes is also “deeply concerned” about Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion that suggests that he wants the Court to reconsider rights to contraception and same-sex marriage.
“We cannot abandon women who do not have the luxury of living in a blue state,” she added.
- State Representative Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Lamorinda) said that “this moment is devastating” during the press conference.
“We are being discriminated against,” she said. Bauer-Kahan called for the federal government to protect abortion in law.
- California State Controller Betty Yee expressed the importance of guaranteeing the right to abortion for women across the country at the press conference.
“It’s not just about the right to abortion,” Yee said. “We are a class of people here in America — women — who today feel tremendously unvalued and disrespected for not … having complete bodily autonomy.”
For many, she added, having access to safe abortions can “be a matter of life or death.” Yee teared up talking about her 99-year-old mother having to reckon with her children and grandchildren no longer having the right to choose.
The fight of our generation [will be] to make sure we win this right back for every state.Betty Yee
- State Representative Mia Bonta (D-East Bay) expressed that she is “so thankful and grateful” that California has “stood strong” for abortion rights. California will be “one of the last stands,” she said.
Make no mistake, the Supreme Court has declared war on our bodies.Mia Bonta
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.