Readers and officials react to the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion concerning the overturning of Roe v. Wade
5/5/2022, 6 p.m.
People everywhere have silenced, discounted, disparaged and cursed women long enough. We are the ones who engender children. We are the ones who are so connected to those children that we suffer with them.
If men were so benevolent, they would listen to what women say, and help to make our world better, rather than make it harder to care for our children. Governments and companies would encourage women to share the burden of work and to divulge their thoughts on ways to work smarter. Men in government would not be forbidding doctors to treat women or our children. They would not consign them to poverty and ill health. They would honor the right of women to decide if they want to propagate the species or not. Otherwise, why make rape a crime if forced pregnancy isn’t?
Forcing a woman to remain pregnant for any reason while not providing for the cost of her health, her child and their welfare is, at best, a hypocritical advocacy for “life.”
Dictating women’s health care — overruling medical experts — is a dangerous and foolish choice. Doing so for children even more so. Is it not bad enough that thousands died of COVID-19 for the “freedom” of not wearing masks and accepting the vaccine?
I see that politicians are just emboldened by their mistakes. They fail to learn. They fail us and our future.
DIANE M. STARKEY
The United States of America should not be a country where women are dying from back-alley abortions. This is a profoundly personal issue with real consequences for the lives of American women. Green-lighting states to ban abortion in all cases — including rape or incest — would only endanger the lives of those grappling with the hardest decision of their lives. These harrowing decisions should remain between a woman, her family and her doctor.
This leaked draft Supreme Court opinion is poised to erase a woman’s right to privacy and reproductive health care that has been settled law for nearly a half century. The U.S.House of Representatives has voted to codify Roe v. Wade. The U.S. Senate needs to follow suit and pass this bill.
7th DISTRICT CONGRESSWOMAN ABIGAIL SPANBERGER
I’m outraged by the reported leaked SCOTUS decision overturning Roe. I believe abortion care is health care, and I’ll keep fighting for that in the Senate.
U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER
Every woman, regardless of her background or socioeconomic status, deserves the right to make her own medical decisions. That is why I was proud to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act last fall to protect reproductive rights at the federal level. These reports make it abundantly clear why the Senate must immediately pass that bill and send it to President Biden’s desk.
3rd DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN ROBERT C. “BOBBY” SCOTT
Our country is experiencing a full partisan assault on women’s rights and freedom to control our own bodies. As Black women, we stand at the intersection of voting rights and reproductive justice, with the full understanding that the struggle for our right to vote is inextricably tied to our reproductive rights as women.
Historically, when state laws have failed to protect Black people, we have relied on the federal courts to protect our rights and access to opportunity as Americans.
However, as we are already experiencing a U.S. Supreme Court that is unwilling to protect our voting rights, it appears this court is also averse to protecting our constitutionally protected reproductive rights and freedoms. And when the courts will no longer deliver justice, we must point our activism and energy to the lawmakers and to the Congress that can codify that justice into the law ...
... We cannot wait any longer and allow states to limit our autonomy and place further controls over our reproductive health. Therefore, the NCBCP and Black Women’s Roundtable is commit- ted to ensuring that we mobilize and leverage our voting power in the 2022 midterm election and beyond, to hold elected officials accountable to our interests, including protecting our civil rights, voting rights and reproductive rights.
MELANIE L. CAMPBELL
President and CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable
This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented. It confirms our worst fears: That the court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. We’re angry and ready to take action. We have been preparing for this, and we’re ready for this fight.
Abortion is still legal and will remain legal in Virginia when this decision becomes final. We are prepared to continue to fight across the country. This will not stop us. It is essential that pregnant women have access to medically accurate information and compassionate health care throughout their pregnancy, without political interference. Politicians and Supreme Court justices are throwing up barriers to abortion access not because it is necessary, but because they want to control women’s bodies. They do not care about the harm they will inflict on families in Virginia, especially rural, low-income, young, queer, trans and people of color who already have a hard time accessing the health care they need.
Our fight is not over. We will continue to do the work to ensure that women in our community and across America have affordable access to an abortion when they need it.
Virginia Reproductive Alliance,
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia,
Whole Woman's Health Alliance,
Latina Institute For Reproductive Justice Virginia,
ACLU of Virginia,
Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project,
Blue Ridge Abortion Fund,
Virginia Chapter N.O.W. (National Organization for Women),
Hampton Roads Reproductive Justice League,
National Council of Jewish Women, Virginia
Make no mistake: The draft opinion by SCOTUS would not end abortions. It will only serve to ban safe abortions and would send women’s reproductive rights back to a terrifying time in history and we must fight back.
Elections have consequences and we must work to increase our margin in the U.S. Senate and hold our majority in the House this fall.
But first, we must immediately call upon congress and demand they codify Roe into law immediately. Now is not the time to be silent.
MAYOR LEVAR M. STONEY
City of Richmond
let’s be clear – should this draft opinion become final, people will die. Those people will be predominantly women of color and low-income women, women who cannot afford to skirt the law by traveling to another state. Ending the right to legal abortion doesn’t stop abortions from happening. It just makes them less safe by returning them to the back alleys of our past.
As more and more nations around the world codify the legal right to abortion, this country is poised to take a step backward, to remove a person’s right to bodily autonomy. With nearly 50 years of precedent being wiped away in one opinion, I hesitate to think which will be next to fall.
Never has it been more important for states to step up and protect the rights that the federal government fails to uphold. Be assured that we will do everything in its power to stop any attempt by Gov. Youngkin or Republican legislators to undermine reproductive rights in Virginia. We have stood up to transvaginal ultrasounds, we have stood up to TRAP laws and we have fought back attempts to treat women as second class citizens. Virginia will not backslide, not on our watch.
DELEGATE CHARNIELE HERRING
Chair, Virginia House Democratic Caucus
reports of Justice samuel alito’s draft opinion overturning roe v. Wade is an outrageous affront to women’s rights in our nation and a clear threat to judicial precedent set forth by the court in 1973. The Supreme Court has clearly held that women have a constitutional right to choose, and those rights have been upheld for the last half century.
Reproductive care is integral to comprehensive health care, and Americans deserve the right to have a family on their own terms. This radical threat to judicial precedent is the result of decades-long efforts by conservative activists to defy norms and undermine established rulings. This was further compounded by Senate Republicans, under the leadership of the former administration, blocking the confirmation of merrick garland and knowingly pushing the confirmation of two hyper-partisan, Trump-appointed justices.
Overturning Roe v. Wade threatens decades of progress for women’s rights and endangers the health, freedoms, and well-being of millions of Americans across our nation. The House has taken the bold and necessary action to codify Roe v. Wade into law by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. Now the Senate must pass this legislation with all deliberate speed to protect reproductive health care and preserve a woman’s right to choose.
4th DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN A. DONALD MCEACHIN
States are the battleground for reproductive rights. I passed Virginia’s Reproductive Health Protection Act removing medically unnecessary barriers to abortion, making Virginia the first southern state to expand access. I will fight to keep Virginia a safe haven for abortion.
SEN. JENNIFER MCCLELLAN
I’m joining my Senate Democratic colleagues to stand together in support of protecting a woman’s right to choose. Women’s rights are under attack, and we must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade ASAP.
U.S. SEN. TIM KAINE
State legislatures whose representatives are elected by the people should be making these types of decisions, not unelected judges.
as a pro-life state senator elected by the people of chesterfield, Colonial Heights and Amelia, who sponsored the Pain Capable bill that recognizes babies unborn experience pain at 20 weeks, I will continue to sponsor and support legislation that is consistent with the Constitution that prohibits the deprivation of life without due process ...
... Currently, beagles have more rights to humane treatment than the unborn. Criminals have more due process than the unborn.
SEN. AMANDA CHASE