The United States Supreme Court overturned decades of precedent today with their decision to effectively throw out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which protected a woman’s right to make the incredibly personal decision to have an abortion.
Members of the House Democratic Caucus issued the following statements:
Leader Pro Tempore Representative Kamia Brown (D-Ocoee) said, “Today is a historical day, and by that, I mean it is a day that sounds like it belongs in history and not the modern day. The Supreme Court’s dismantling of Roe v. Wade is not only upsetting, but unthinkable. This decision will not stop abortions, only make them harder, and in some cases more dangerous, to obtain.
At these abortion rights marches and rallies, I think of those iconic black and white photos of the marches in 1973 and think about how the only difference is that now we are captured in color.
The United States is facing a maternal health crisis, with the maternal mortality rate being 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live deaths, with that of Black women being three times higher than that. We are facing a totally preventable baby formula shortage that is leaving parents desperate and babies hungry. Instead of addressing these issues, those in power are choosing instead to strip the rights of women to make their own choices about their health and their lives.
The thing with freedom and choice is that once it is given, it will not so easily be taken away. We are no longer living in a time where a woman’s only place is in the house. A woman’s place is anywhere she wants it to be, and that can be at an abortion clinic, at a march for her right to choose, and, what many fear, at a ballot box this November. This fight is not over just yet.”
Representative Nicholas X. Duran (D-Miami) added, “My wife and I are gutted just thinking about the generations of women coming up now with less rights to privacy and autonomy in health care decisions. Seek outrage daily, but do not be bitter. Channel that outrage into action… Elections matter.”
Representative Pat Williams (D-Pompano Beach) responded, “Saddened BUT not SURPRISED!!”
Representative Yvonne Hinson (D-Gainesville) said, “Make no mistake — this decision goes beyond abortion. This wrongful ruling is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control how your future is going to be. Our rights are no longer safe.
This decision goes against the will of the people: 80% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal.
That means 36 million women — nearly half of the women of reproductive age (18-49) in the United States — and more people who can become pregnant, could soon lose abortion access.
This decision means that government officials in states across the country may soon be investigating and potentially criminalizing pregnancy outcomes — including for pregnancies that end in miscarriage. It is an attack on your rights, your privacy, and your freedom.”
Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) added, “What today’s ruling did was put the future of women’s reproductive health within State control. We can anticipate, given the behavior of the state’s Republican leadership, that Florida will soon ban all abortion. The only way this changes is for Florida to see a balanced legislature that listens to reason. Women need to understand that the power is theirs at the ballot box and as long as we continue to have a right-wing controlled administration and legislature, we can expect to see not only our right to safe and legal abortion stripped away, but the continued destruction of many of our civil liberties. We must change who’s running the state because all Floridians deserve the freedom to be healthy, prosperous, and safe.”