WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday announced their decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade — which has been law of the land for nearly 50 years.
The opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. is similar to a draft that was leaked to Politico in May.
“We hold that Roe and (the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs.) Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote. “The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.”
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), released the following statement: “I was outraged to learn of the Supreme Court’s decision this morning concerning Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — however, I was not shocked. Far-right Republicans have been signaling for years their intent to overturn Roe v. Wade and today’s decision is the culmination of decades of extremist anti-abortion strategy.
“This ruling will harm women and families everywhere — with restricted access to abortion disproportionally impacting people of color. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) women already face numerous barriers — including language, economic and legal obstacles — when trying to access healthcare, particularly in regard to contraception and family planning care.
“It is imperative Congress acts immediately to enshrine Roe and ensure AANHPI communities — and communities all across our nation — can exercise their personal freedom and make decisions alongside health care professionals and their families about their own bodies.”
The Japanese American Citizens League condemned the decision: “This morning the Supreme Court of the United States voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a five-decade-old historic court precedent that granted women the constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Now, the power to retain or abolish a person’s right to choose has been ceded back to the states, 22 of which are already prepared to outright ban or severely restrict abortion access.
“This ruling marks a dark turn in our nation’s history, and further drives home the point that women and those with female reproductive organs remain second-class citizens. As a national civil rights organization, the JACL unequivocally supports the right to decide whether and when to become a parent.
“At our 1992 convention, the National Council officially adopted a resolution titled Family Choice, supporting a person’s right ‘to choose and determine the course of their lives.’ Today, we reaffirm that this choice should be up to the individual with their health care provider and not left in the hands of lawmakers.
“The JACL decries this heinous decision. The implications of this act stand to not only impact cisgender women, but the trans community, communities of color, and many others who are affected by systemic oppression and rely upon rights not explicitly granted in the Constitution. The SCOTUS has not only ripped away a constitutional right, but sentenced millions of people to inhumane living conditions, and in some cases, death.
“Removing or restricting abortion access does not mean that abortions will no longer happen — it means that safe abortions will no longer happen.”
Actor and activist George Takei reacted with a series of tweets, including the following:
“So let me get this straight. A state has the right to restrict abortions, but doesn’t have the right to restrict firearms? Is that what we have now in these ‘United’ States?”
“The problem with SCOTUS looking to whether a ‘right’ is ‘deeply rooted in our history or traditions’ is that our history and traditions are filled with genocide, slavery, brutality and misogyny. Why should we limit our ‘rights’ to things that have only existed for those in power?”
“And this is just what the new 6-3 conservative majority has wrought in its first year. I shudder for the future. We must rein in these extremist zealots, and waste no time further.”
In order to “save America from autocracy,” Takei said, advocates for reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights must “hold the House, pick up two Senate seats, abolish the filibuster, expand the [Supreme] Court.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) said: “The Supreme Court has taken the extraordinary action of stripping American women of the right to control their bodies by overturning Roe v. Wade. This decision gives states the power to rob women of their bodily autonomy, no matter the personal cost to those women or their families. This is offensive and radical.
“Yesterday, the court overruled long-standing gun safety laws in a time when massacres of children and innocent people abound. Today, they have given states the power to trample upon the rights of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies. This is hypocritical and completely out of touch with reality. It is time for the political branches to hold the judicial branch accountable – it’s time to unpack the court.
“For decades, Republicans made their politics about taking over the judicial branch of government. What today’s decision means is that the right of women over their bodies is no longer a fundamental constitutional right, but a matter of politics. The court is unrestrained with regard to rolling back the rights of women, and we should expect they will be unrestrained when it comes to the rights of other groups of Americans, and indeed, all Americans.
“A new generation of Americans is now called upon to ensure that it does not have less rights than their parents’ generation. I am in this fight with you. Let’s get to work, and make no mistake about it, we are going to prevail.
“This dark decision breaks our hearts, but we must not allow it to break out spirits. As my friend and the late Congressman John Lewis said the day Justice Anthony Kennedy retired, ‘Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.’
“It’s time to get into some good trouble.”
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) said, “Today, the Supreme Court has overturned Americans’ fundamental right to health freedom – the right for women to make decisions about their own bodies. For half a century, Roe has been the law of the land, but today, decades of coordinated, cruel attacks have realized the extremists’ goal of eviscerating access to abortion care. This decision is devastating, but it cannot and will not stop us from continuing to fight for the rights of women and all Americans.
“I am deeply heartbroken and angered by the gravity of this decision. The consequences of this ruling cannot be understated – eliminating access to safe, legal abortion will exacerbate existing inequalities in communities of color, low-income populations and all marginalized groups already facing obstacles to obtaining reproductive care.
“Today’s ruling permits 26 states in waiting to quickly ban abortion, allowing government interference with our personal privacy to deny more than 36 million people across the United States access to this fundamental freedom.
“In California, we continue to lead on abortion rights and access to reproductive health care – and I am confident that our state leaders will continue their work to ensure these rights remain protected and accessible across our state. Yet, we will not stand idly by while millions have their rights stripped away. We will not let this decision set us back generations. We must continue to speak out, stand up, and do all we can to fight back.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) released the following statement: “Today is a horrific day in America. The Supreme Court was confronted with a fundamental question: who should have control over a woman’s body, a woman or a bunch of politicians? Today, the Supreme Court decided it should be a bunch of politicians. Their decision to overturn Roe will go down as one of the worst decisions in the history of the court.
“The far-right MAGA majority on the Supreme Court has stripped women in this country of a fundamental constitutional right we have relied on for nearly 50 years — which is what Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and extreme Republicans have wanted all along. Democrats in Congress are going to keep fighting to do everything we can to support women across the country — including expanding access to free contraception, protecting women’s health data, and passing the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine the right to abortion into federal law.
“Women are going to suffer and die because of this decision. Republicans are going to have to answer for this in November.
“Justice [Clarence] Thomas has signaled this is not the end of their assault on our individual rights and freedoms. Everyone must awaken to the fact that this is just the tip of the iceberg. We must rally together and elect more Democrats in November to protect our Democracy and our civil rights.”
Earlier this week, Hirono introduced the My Body, My Data Act, legislation to protect personal reproductive health data by minimizing the information collected and retained, and preventing that information from being disclosed or misused; the bill would protect reproductive health data from sources like fertility tracking apps.
Hirono also hosted a roundtable with patients from across the country to hear directly about how Roe and the right to abortion have shaped their lives — and to make clear what’s at stake with the Supreme Court set to end Americans’ constitutional right to abortion any day.
Earlier this month, she met with reproductive health care leaders and providers from Hawaii to hear about the challenges they face and to discuss the importance of protecting abortion access.
Hirono also introduced the Affordability is Access Act (AAA) to help ensure access to over-the-counter birth control options, in an effort to allow people to plan their own reproductive lives, on their own terms. She also advocated to protect servicemembers’ access to abortion care.
In May, Hirono delivered a floor speech emphasizing the need to defend abortion rights. Earlier this year, she introduced a resolution to honor abortion providers and thanked them in a floor speech on National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day.
Hirono also co-sponsored S.1975, the Senate companion to the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R.3755), which would protect the right to access abortion care throughout the U.S.
“This is horrifying,” Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement. “The reversal of Roe v. Wade dehumanizes all women and child-bearing people across our country. Whether directly or indirectly, this ruling impacts each and every one of our human rights. And make no mistake, this is an attack on AAPI communities, too.
“Let us be clear: the decision to set back the constitutional right to an abortion is rooted in the desire to claim ownership over women’s bodies — something AAPI women are all too familiar with.
“Almost two-thirds of hate incidents reported to us were experienced by AAPI women — many of these incidents involving a combination of racial and sexual harassment. The end of Roe v. Wade deals a devastating blow to the freedom and safety of women, girls, and vulnerable communities.
“We are taking this time to recommit to our fight for a safe and equitable future — and double down on our campaign to create safer, more accessible places for women. You can learn more at http://noplaceforhateca.org.”
“OCA is both deeply angered and saddened by this decision because this ruling will further harm marginalized communities, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, in this country who already face barriers to health care, sex education, and other relevant resources,” said OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates National President Linda Ng. “SCOTUS has dealt a major blow to the foundation of equal rights for women in America.”
For the first time in its nearly 50 years of work, OCA also announced its resolution on women’s health rights. The unanimous decision was made on April 24 at the second-quarter OCA National Board meeting, following a discussion on the importance of preserving women’s rights to access health resources and unbiased information in order to make their own health care decisions.
“This resolution also underscores OCA’s recognition that the fight for equitable healthcare access, privacy rights, and equitable access to unbiased information is not just a women’s rights fight, but a civil rights fight. The infringement upon these rights undoubtedly impact the rights of other marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ+ and disabled, and the right to vote,” said OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates National Executive Director Thu Nguyen. “Despite the dismantling of equity for women with this SCOTUS decision, we recommit to standing with our national and local partners to protect reproductive and other healthcare rights.”