Six Justices of 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.
In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer said, “Whatever the exact scope of the coming laws, one result of today’s decision is certain: the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”
Members of the House Democratic Caucus issued the following statements:
Leader Evan Jenne (D-Hollywood) issued the following statement, “History has shown us that abortions cannot be ended by legislation. All this will do is make it harder to get a safe, legal abortion, and lead to what we saw in decades past: women sick and dying because of unsafe, underground abortions.
The majority of Americans, and Floridians, want there to be access to abortion services. A loud minority has pushed its extremist agenda all the way to the Supreme Court, and millions will suffer because of it.
Choosing when and if to have a baby is one of the most important and personal decisions anyone can ever make. Access to family planning options like birth control and abortions are critically important and should be protected for all.”
Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) said, “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is devastating but it is not surprising. The court, dominated by radically conservative justices, has just overturned the most significant piece of law protecting privacy and the health of women in our country. Today’s decision should concern every American. After today, women are less safe. After today, our Supreme Court is a political tool, not an impartial court of justice.
For Floridians, today’s decision ratifies the radical and dangerous legislation jammed through the state government by Republicans and clears the path for a full ban of all abortions in our state, without exceptions for rape or incest.
This is a major setback as we work to create a state and country where we all have the freedom to be healthy, prosperous and safe. But I am more determined than ever to fight.”
Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) said, “This is a devastating blow to our collective freedom as women and Americans. And it follows a clear and consistent Republican effort to end the right to abortions. We have never lost a constitutional right, and now must make sure that Republicans at every level of government feel the consequences of stripping away our rights and freedoms.
Abortion is about freedom, options, self-determination, and a free society. This SCOTUS decision completely strips us of our collective freedoms, taking away our power to control our personal decisions and handing it over to politicians. It will have a ripple effect around the nation with abortion bans already set to go into place and states like Florida planning to be next.
We cannot forget that this fight goes beyond abortion, this decision is tied to other freedoms we have fought for, including same sex marriage and access to contraception.
Though this is a major loss for gender equity and a horrific win for extreme conservatism we must remember that here in Florida, abortion is still legal. We must remember that Floridians overwhelmingly want abortion to remain legal, and generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect the rights we have today. We must take these fights with us into the upcoming midterm elections while we continue to support local abortion providers and funds.
This is not the time to shrink, or surrender. The antidote to despair is action. We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures and despite this decision, cannot give up now.”
Representative Susan Valdés (D-Tampa) added, “Today’s decision is an egregious judicial overreach and an attack on the fundamental rights of every American. My heart breaks for the women in states where their individual autonomy will be nullified, and the rights that so many worked so hard for secure are trampled. Using the power of the state to force women to have children against their will is a violation of basic principles of liberty and human dignity. No matter what this Supreme Court says, a woman has an inalienable right to decide what happens to her body. It is imperative that we redouble our efforts to secure that basic right; to defend choice, individual liberty, and the values we hold dear as Americans. I pledge to do everything in my power as a legislator to ensure that the Florida Constitution is followed and our state protects a woman’s right to choose.”
Representative Robin Bartleman (D-Weston) said, “It’s a sad day. I can’t believe that my daughters and women across this country will no longer have the ability to make choices about OUR bodies.”
Representative Angie Nixon (D-Jacksonville) added, “This radical Supreme Court decision is not about supporting life. Pro-life is about eliminating racial health disparities, it’s about addressing the alarmingly high Black maternal morbidity rates, protecting access to affordable health care, and our freedom to control our own bodies and our futures. Politics will now make decisions for our health– not our doctors and not ourselves. It’s a sad day for all of us, especially Black women.”