Asian American Democratic lawmakers condemned the Supreme Court’s official overturning of Roe v. Wade on Friday, noting that now is the time for action.
With the ruling, access to abortions is no longer guaranteed on a federal level, giving states the right by default to dictate reproductive healthcare. The news did not come as a surprise to some considering a leaked draft of the decision was widely circulated early May.
Vice President Kamala Harris participated in a Roe v. Wade roundtable yesterday with state attorneys general.
She posted to Twitter that “Right now, we need every federal, state, and local leader working to protect reproductive health care access.”
Other Democratic lawmakers echoed similar feelings of outrage for the overturning of half a century’s precedent on reproductive rights, pointing to the GOP as the source of blame.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D, IL) stated, “Your outrage is justified. Some of these Justices lied to us about their views on Roe v. Wade to get to this moment and fulfill Republicans’ decades-long scheme to take away our rights to control our own bodies. But this isn’t over. The Senate needs to codify Roe. NOW.”
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Several members of Congress appeared to take to the streets themselves in protest, including Rep. Judy Chu (D, CA-27) and Rep. Grace Meng (D, NY-6) who can be seen in videos surrounded by other marchers with signs.
Meng, who has been actively posting about the issue since the leak, wrote, “NY won’t go back. Women won’t go back. We need to #ExpandTheCourt, need the senate to eliminate the filibuster, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, vote in local elections, keep fighting on. People’s lives depend on us. They’re coming for you next.”
“I never imagined today would come,” wrote Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-3) in a three-part tweet. “A day when the rights of Americans are going backwards. The health and lives of many women are in jeopardy by this reckless decision that overturns half a century of precedent.”
Other legislators emphasized what the decision would mean for women, most likely the ones to bear the brunt of the ruling.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D, MN-5) called the news “devastating for millions of women and pregnant people across the country,” adding that the “right-wing court is turning the clock back on generations of progress.” “The SCOTUS decision is devastating,” repeated Rep. Doris Matsui (D, CA-6), citing that Roe v. Wade has been the “law of the land” for the past half century.
She also reported that this “leaves more than 36 million people who become pregnant without access to safe, legal abortion.”
Rep. Ami Bera (D, CA-7), who is also a physician, stated in a Twitter thread that as a doctor, he “strongly” believes “the decisions made in the exam room should be made between a patient and their physician, NOT outside politicians.”
Some lawmakers pushed the ruling as an opportunity to elect more Democrats in the upcoming fall elections, Rep. Ted Liu (D, CA-33) noting that “Public confidence in the Court is at its lowest level in history.”
In a Twitter thread, Senator Mazie Hirono (D, HI) called for the need to “rally together and elect more Democrats in November,” adding that “everyone must awaken to the fact that this is just the tip of the iceberg.” Rep. Mark Takano (D, CA-41) noted that “Republicans have only won the popular vote in 1 of the last 8 presidential elections.”
“Yet, they have appointed the 6 Supreme Court Justices that voted to strip women of their rights today.”
Takano also emphasized that abortion is still legal under California state law.
Prominent Asian American Republican lawmakers were and have been noticeably silent on the issue. They have yet to comment on the official overturning of Roe v. Wade as well as the earlier leak of the draft back in May. The news of the overturn comes immediately after yesterday’s historic decision on the right to carry a gun outside the home, continuing a trend of conservative rulings overtaking many previous, progressive precedents.