State and county Democrats reacted with anger Tuesday to a leaked draft report of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would overturn abortion protections provided by Roe v. Wade and other high court rulings.
The draft opinion, released by Politico on Monday night, and written by Justice Samuel Alito, said Roe v Wade “was egregiously wrong from the start.”
“It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives,” Alito continued.
The draft was written after a consensus was reached on a Mississippi case by Alito, Justice Clarence Thomas and three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees to the court, Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Neil Gorsuch.
State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) said the draft ruling showed the importance of New York legislators approving the Reproductive Health Act in 2019 despite the objections of opponents who “that we didn’t need to bother” and that “Roe v. Wade was the law of the land.”
“The other side went so far as to accuse us of political theater,” Kaplan said in a statement. “But we took action because a woman’s right to choose is sacred and must be protected from those who would take our rights from us to further their own agenda. And today as we look out on the horizon of a post-Roe era, state laws are the last protection from a far-right Supreme Court, and extremist politicians who are hell-bent on sending us back into the dark ages.”
Democratic candidates for the state’s 3rd Congressional district, Melanie D’Arrigo, Robert Zimmerman, Josh Lafazan, Jon Kaiman and Alessandra Biaggi each expressed their desire to codify Roe v. Wade, if elected. D’Arrigo said this leaked draft is a result of radical Republicans hijacking the courts.
“Make no mistake: if this draft opinion becomes the law of the land, there will be a reckoning at the polls,” D’Arrigo said. “This is a five-alarm fire and it’s undisputed proof that we need to elect better Democrats, not just more Democrats.”
Biaggi echoed D’Arrigo’s sentiments, saying it is on the Democrats in office to use their power and ensure abortion rights remain protected.
“If Dems don’t do something to stop the backslide in abortion rights while controlling the House, the Senate, and the presidency, then we can’t blame a generation of voters when they stop voting for us,” Biaggi tweeted on Tuesday. “It’ll be 100% on us, not them.”
“Tonight we are outraged,” Lafazan said. “Tomorrow, we fight to codify Roe at the federal level and in Congress I will not rest until we get it done.”
“As the Supreme Court is currently considering whether to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is imperative that those in Congress protect reproductive freedom for women across America,” Kaiman said.
“I am disgusted that the majority conservative Supreme Court would move us back to a time of dangerous and illegal abortions,” Zimmerman said. “This is a shocking and reprehensible decision that will harm millions of vulnerable women and families across the country.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul noted Tuesday that New York previously legalized abortion, saying “I refuse to go backwards.” She said that message to those who do not side with Roe v. Wade is “you don’t want to mess with the State of New York.”
“This is something that we have fought against for my entire life,” Hochul said. “In fact, this is a battle my mother’s generation, it’s a battle from my generation, my daughter’s generation, and it seems like even my three-day old grandchild Sophia’s generation will have to be fighting this same fight. Something that we had thought we had put to bed a long time ago.”
Joy D. Calloway, interim president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York said in a statement that “Abortion bans are the perpetuation of racism, sexism and economic injustice in a country that has a long history of stripping people of their own personal autonomy.”