Local and state Democrats lashed out this week at a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would strike down the landmark abortion-rights protections offered under Roe v. Wade, and they vowed to do what it takes to protect women’s right to choose in California.
Striking down Roe v. Wade would allow individual states to set limits on abortion.
“This is outrageous,” Rep. Ted Lieu, (CA-33), wrote on his Twitter page. “We could see the end of legal, safe abortion in the U.S. if Congress does not act. It’s time to #AbolishTheFilibuster and make the Women’s Health Protection Act law. In the meantime, remember: Abortion is still legal and it’s still a right.”
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of the draft and he condemned its leak to Politico, which reported on its contents Monday afternoon. Politico reported that the draft ruling by Justice Samuel Alito will strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling.
According to Politico, Alito opines, in part, “‘Roe’ was egregiously wrong from the start.’”
“We hold that ‘Roe’ and ‘Casey’ must be overruled,’’ the document states, according to Politico. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
Politico noted that the document is only a draft and could be changed dramatically, or even fundamentally changed, before it is published and finalized this summer.
Roberts echoed that sentiment Tuesday, saying the draft “does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.” He called its public release an “egregious breach of trust” and ordered an investigation into the source of the leak.
Regardless of its draft status, the document set off an outcry nationwide and locally among pro-choice residents, activists and politicians.
“It’s time for Congress to get off the sidelines,’’ Sen. Alex Padilla, (D-Calif.), tweeted in response to the report. “We must protect the fundamental right to choose.”
“I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify ‘Roe’ into law,” wrote Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) on Twitter. “The Senate needs to act on this legislation. The filibuster must not continue to be used as an excuse.”
“Make no mistake, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will be harmed and some will die,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday morning. “It happened before Roe became law of the land and it will happen again, particularly since this decision will harm low-income and at-risk women more than anyone.
“I remember the days when abortion was illegal, when we would pass the hat at Stanford to collect money so a classmate could go to Mexico for an abortion. Overturning Roe would return us to those dark ages where women don’t have safe, open access to reproductive care. This would be unconscionable.”
Feinstein added she routinely asks Supreme Court nominees if they will respect Supreme Court precedent. “Without exception, all nominees agree that precedent is critical to our judicial system,” she tweeted.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also condemned the draft, saying the state will “fight like hell” to protect women’s reproductive rights and make California a safe haven for women seeking abortions or other reproductive health care, regardless of where they live.
Rep. Karen Bass, (CA-37), said “if this draft is in fact the position of the Supreme Court, this is a heartbreaking day for our nation.
“As a direct result of wrongheaded, backwards ideology, decades of established law and precedent will be at risk of being overturned and if that happens, women across our country will pay the price, with low income women of color experiencing the most severe impact,’’ said Bass, a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles. “This has to be a call to action to fight for women’s freedom and all of our freedoms at the national level and at the local level.’’
The other front-runner in the mayor’s race, billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso, tweeted, “I profoundly disagree with the draft decision that was made public tonight. If it becomes final, the justices in the majority will have taken away the rights of millions of people in this country and put lives in jeopardy.
“As a father who is pro-choice, I’m proud to live in a city and state where women’s reproductive rights are respected and protected.”
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez wrote on Twitter, “5 justices, the majority of whom were nominated by presidents who LOST the popular vote, are dictating to 166.7 million women across the country that they don’t get a say in what happens to their body. This is enraging. We must fight back. We WILL fight back. Elections matter.”