WASHINGTON - Local leaders in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia reacted Friday following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The high court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years.
Here are some of the statements released Friday:
DC MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER:
"Washington, DC is a proud pro-choice city and access to abortion is still legal here. This is about health care. This is about women’s rights. This is about bodily autonomy. A majority of Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose. This fight is urgent but not over."
CONGRESSWOMAN ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON:
"I am outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision today," Norton said. "Congress must immediately codify the right to abortion in federal law. The decision is also a reminder to the country that D.C.’s lack of statehood means D.C. is subject to the whims of Congress. Republicans have repeatedly used D.C. to try to impose policies they cannot or do not have the support to impose nationally. A future Republican Congress may try to ban abortion in D.C., thinking they can get away with it because it would only apply to D.C. residents. They are wrong. We will never allow that to happen."
VIRGINIA GOV. YOUNGKIN:
"The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I'm proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions.
"We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life."
"That's why I've asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I've asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January."
DC ATTORNEY GENERAL KARL A. RACINE:
"For half a century, Roe v. Wade recognized the constitutional right to abortion in this country," said AG Racine. "But now, the Supreme Court has revoked that right, leaving millions of patients and potential patients in its wake who will no longer be able to access critical health care that will have substantial impacts on their lives.
"District residents overwhelmingly and emphatically value reproductive freedom. For this reason, our local elected officials have passed strong patient-centered laws enabling residents and visitors to make the reproductive health decisions for themselves and their families."
"But across the country, we know 26 states are poised to or have already banned abortion. And more than a quarter of the nearly 800 abortion clinics across the country will immediately shutdown because of the Court’s decision. This decision creates a Berlin Wall across our country with two Americas: one where states and jurisdictions like DC continue to provide access to abortion and one where states don’t."
"And who gets hurt the most? We already know that low-income patients, especially Black and brown women and those in rural areas, already face barriers to reproductive care. They will further bear the brunt of the lack of access to abortion. It’s another dark chapter in a centuries-long effort to control women’s bodies and lives, particularly those in our most marginalized communities."
"We know this all too well in the District. The District’s fight for autonomy and statehood is intertwined with our fight for abortion access. We know our strong abortion laws could change if the federal government seeks to take away this right. We have seen the playbook before. Congress already bans us from using our own local Medicaid dollars to pay for abortion services for our most vulnerable residents."
"The Office of the Attorney General will do everything in our power to fiercely defend and strengthen the right to abortion in the District so that everyone can create their family how and when they choose. We will stand up for the rights of District residents and those across the country who come here to access care. And we will defend abortion providers who offer needed care to support the health, safety, and dignity of their patients."
"We all have a role to play in standing up for reproductive rights, and now is the time to do so. I urge you to support organizations doing critical work to help people in states with restrictive laws access reproductive health care. Ask your friends and family outside the District of Columbia to petition their members of Congress and their local legislators. Call on businesses to fill the gap where government has failed by allocating resources and putting in place strong reproductive rights policies for their employees. Join a peaceful protest. Vote."
"There’s a great deal we can each do to help fight for access to abortion care, and we must remain vigilant, especially when there are so many counting on us."
MD REP ANTHONY BROWN:
"This is a dark day for our country. Six justices on the Supreme Court have decided to overturn the longstanding precedent established in Roe v. Wade, upending Constitutional liberties and putting lives at risk across the United States. We must answer this reckless decision with action – with protest, at the ballot box, in every state, and in every chamber of power.
"Maryland must remain a safe haven for all seeking abortion services. With the expected rise in out-of-state patients, we must continue bolstering our health infrastructure and broadening the pool of professionals ready to provide this essential health care. I once again reiterate my call on Governor Hogan to listen to the voices of Marylanders and release the funding needed to train these professionals at once. Additionally, Maryland must reaffirm its commitment to choice and the autonomy of women to make decisions about their own bodies and health care. It’s time for Maryland to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into our state Constitution. "
"As Maryland becomes a model for reproductive care, we know our work doesn’t stop at our state lines. We must actively partner with like-minded Attorneys General, organizations, and allies around the country to protect women, reproductive health care, and the rights that so many have fought for, for so long. "
"History will judge this decision harshly – the fight isn’t over. Over the course of our history, we see time and again the arc of history bending towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own. It takes committed Americans standing up for what's right and for the freedoms and values we all believe in. I will actively fight any effort to use this decision in order to attack abortion protections here in Maryland and those seeking to undermine our fundamental rights. Today is a dark day, but we will not be deterred."
MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE MARC ELRICH:
"The Supreme Court ruling today jeopardizes women, rolls back fundamental rights, and, ultimately, will significantly impact the health and life of many women in our Country. This ruling turns the clock back on the progress that has been made to ensure the right of women to have an abortion. This is not about law, this is about a twisted ideology. The irony is that this decision comes one day after we celebrated Title IX and its impact on the progress of women. I am very concerned that there will be additional rollbacks from this court that will impact our rights."
"While we cannot directly affect other states actions, we can make certain Montgomery County does not provide additional revenue to states which are unwelcome to women’s freedom. Therefore, I have directed Chief Administrative Officer Richard S. Madaleno to draft a new policy for County employees (with limited exceptions) that bars County payment for travel to states with policies that roll back a woman’s right to choose, and I call on other jurisdictions which cherish a woman’s autonomy to withhold funds from these states as well. While Montgomery County does everything it can to protect the right to an abortion, we will also not give taxpayer dollars to states that try to drag us back to a dark past."
"As I mentioned in May when a draft of this decision was leaked, multiple Supreme Court justice nominees lied during their nomination hearings. Time and time again, these justices all referred to Roe v. Wade as 'established law.' Republican Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, said she was misled by nominees before the Court, which I consider a big problem."
"Here in Montgomery County, we moved quickly to get ahead of this decision. I recommended the supplemental allocation of $1 million to help support women’s health services in our area."
"We hope it offers both financial and emotional support to the medical professionals who are now dealing with the repercussions of today’s Supreme Court decision."
"This is a dark day for our Country, and I hope that all people affected by today’s ruling know that Montgomery County will remain a safe place for them and their loved ones."
VIRGINIA SEN. TIM KAINE:
"I am deeply disturbed that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upsetting decades of precedent protecting the right of women to make fundamental personal decisions about contraception and abortion without unnecessary government interference. That’s why I’ve been engaged in efforts in the Senate to codify the basic framework of Roe v. Wade and related cases into federal law. We’re not going to give up on the fight to protect the right to choose."
MARYLAND SEN. BEN CARDIN:
"The Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be the last line of defense, protecting the rights of Americans and guaranteeing equal justice under the law for all. The highest court in the land, defenders of the Constitution, should never be the one deliberately taking away the rights of millions of people, knowing the dire consequences of putting them in the hands of state legislatures. Sadly, this is exactly what has happened this morning. Individuals in more than half the states now are in jeopardy, including 13 states with trigger laws that almost immediately end access to safe, legal abortions. Abortion is a standard part of health care. Bans, criminalization and bounty hunter laws, especially without exceptions even for rape and incest or the life of the mother, will not stop abortions. Abortions will continue in states like Maryland that respect individual privacy rights. Marylanders have already shown willingness to step up and provide access to care for those who cannot access it in their own state, but our medical systems will feel the weight of 26 states with contrary laws. Low-income families and those without the means to leave their homes and travel to other states, particularly including women of color, will be the most burdened."
"Senate Republicans bear responsibility for confirming justices they knew full-well intended to overturn Roe v. Wade, putting the lives of millions of women and girls in such a place where their own government does not trust them to make decisions about their own body and their own future."
"History will show this as one of the worst decisions of the Supreme Court. Congress, the Biden administration and state governments must take action to protect the reproductive and health rights of Americans. There should be a common standard protecting the right of self-determination of health decisions for women and individuals, regardless of what state you live in today."