Local, state leaders react after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

APTOPIX Supreme Court Abortion
Posted at 10:46 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 13:48:35-04

Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling which legalized abortions.

The decision came in a case about Mississippi’s abortion law, which sought to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

With Friday’s decision, states can now make their own laws regarding abortions. Thirteen states have so-called trigger laws, which ban abortions following the overturning of Roe.

Following the decision, Virginia and North Carolina politicians and leaders on both sides of the aisle made their stances known on the ruling.

Governor Glenn Youngkin released the following statement on the Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling announcement:

"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."

Victoria LaCivita, spokesperson for Attorney General Jason Miyares, has issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

"Today the Supreme Court ruled that the issue of abortion should not be decided by unelected federal judges, but by the people of the States through their elected representatives. Good and reasonable people can disagree on this issue but now Virginians, not federal judges, can decide its future. The Attorney General will continue to uphold and enforce both the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Virginia."

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade:

“This decision jeopardizes the health and autonomy of millions of American women and turns back the clock on nearly 50 years of settled and reaffirmed law – reflecting a Court that has increasingly issued politicized rulings that undermine the fundamental rights of Americans. This decision will take control over personal health care decisions away from individuals and give it to politicians in state legislatures across the country. I am heartbroken for the generations of women who now have fewer rights than when they were born, many of whom will be forced into life-threatening or prohibitively expensive circumstances to access health care as a result of this radical decision. For them and for all Virginians and Americans, I will continue working to protect needed access to safe, legal abortion.”

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling:

“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.”

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is a rollback of the rights of women in the United States. A woman’s right to choose should be made between a woman, her health care provider, and her faith. For the first time in our nation’s history, today’s women have less freedoms than previous generations.

“This decision is further proof that we need to enshrine reproductive freedom protections into federal law to protect Americans from government overreach and restore the rights of women across the country. I will continue to be an advocate in Congress for women and fight to protect the rights of all Americans, including the right to choose.”

Jen Kiggans, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, released the following statement:

"I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and give Virginians and our elected representatives the opportunity to defend life in our Commonwealth. As a mother and nurse practicioner, I believe all life is precious and must be protected. As a State Senator, I have fought hard for legislation that gives mothers and families the support they need so they can always choose life.

"This is our chance to take a stand against the extremist Democrat policies that call for abortions up until the moment of birth, keeping babies who survive abortion 'comfortable' without lifesaving measures and mandating taxpayer funded abortions. While today's decision is historic, I know there is more work to be done to uphold the sanctity of life. My fight for the unborn and the most vulnerable Americans will continue in Congress."

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson ruling:

“This ruling is historic and monumental and affirms my belief that all life is sacred. Each state government and its duly elected representatives will now make the determination about the types of laws they wish to have in place. I, for one, will continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the broad majority of Americans support like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth and pain-capable abortions. This is a very emotional and sensitive issue for many Americans, and I urge calm and respect for the Court’s decision and hope people who have strong feelings on both sides will voice them peacefully.”

Delegate Hala Ayala, candidate for State Senate District 33, today released the following statement:

“I’m outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back Roe v. Wade, stripping away our right to choose. With the stroke of a pen, the Supreme Court has unjustly dealt an outrageous blow to women across this country, rescinding almost fifty years of precedent, and sentencing women to be at the mercy of every state legislature and governor across this country.

Right now, the Senate Democrats in Virginia only hold the majority by one vote. It’s more important than ever that we expand the Democratic Majority to protect women’s freedom to make decisions about their own body — a decision that if ripped away by Virginia Republicans will disproportionately target Black and Brown Virginians.

We need leaders who are going to fight like hell and will stand up to Youngkin and his cronies who want to roll back our rights and put women in danger. We cannot allow the vigilante policies like we see in Texas come to our front doorstep. I stand more resolute and committed than ever to defend Virginians’ fundamental rights. This is what I have done as Delegate, and I will be unwavering as your next Virginia State Senator, ensuring that every Virginia's voice is heard and has a seat at the table.”

The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout of the Catholic Diocese released the following statement:

“Today, I am gratified that our nation’s highest court has overturned the fundamentally unjust Roe v. Wade decision and restored to states the ability to protect the dignity and rights of the human person from the moment of conception. Every life – both mother and children – is sacred and immeasurably loved and valued by God. I pray that throughout our nation – including here in Virginia – lawmakers will open their hearts to the opportunities before them to protect unborn children, support women in crisis pregnancies and promote life-affirming alternatives to abortion.

“Our local Church works to support and walk with women and couples who find themselves in unexpected or stressful pregnancies. As followers of Christ, we must walk with them during these challenging times.

“Throughout the year, many of our parishes and Catholic institutions faithfully are the hands and feet of Christ by providing support so women can be assisted, comforted and strengthened to transform their lives in order to give their baby life. I am deeply grateful for the work of Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ Seton Housing Program – a new initiative, nearly a year old, which provides a whole life care for mother and baby. In the eastern part of our state, Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia served and empowered more than 350 mothers through its Pregnancy Support Program. Portsmouth-based Hope4Life dedicates itself to supporting moms with unplanned pregnancies and being a critical intervention to women when they are most in need. This non-profit is supported by many of our Catholic parishes and faithful. Resources are also found through Williamsburg House of Mercy – an extension of St. Bede Catholic Church, Mary’s Choice RVA, the East End Pregnancy Center as well as the pregnancy resource centers in Richmond and Roanoke supported by the Knights of Columbus.

“For decades, the faithful who have vocalized and promoted the sanctity of life have felt like “the voice crying out in the wilderness” – the words the prophet Isaiah uses to describe the role of John the Baptist in proclaiming the coming of Christ. There have been many courageous, devoted and faith-filled individuals and families who have embraced this teaching. I am thankful for the faithful who use their voice to advocate for the unborn and for the sanctity of all life. This goal must be pursued with firmness and respect. We should not mistake politeness or civility for faintheartedness. Respect and charity are the Christian manner of stating one’s case, listening to what others say and responding. If we are to have any success in promoting pro-life concerns, we must commit to engaging in charitable dialogue.

“While today’s decision brings much hope, tragically some will continue and even intensify their advocacy of abortion. I offer my prayers for the vitally needed conversion of minds and hearts and steadfastly ask the Holy Spirit to keep all safe during this time. With prayer and perseverance may we find the peace and abundant life that Christ offers.”

Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-25th District) issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"During Supreme Court confirmation hearings, potential Supreme Court justices, who ended up being confirmed, noted that Roe v. Wade was “settled law,” implying that they would do nothing to overturn it. Those statements are now seen as clearly and plainly false.

The right of any individual to control their own healthcare decisions is essential if we are going to have economic opportunity for all. A woman’s right to make these critical healthcare decisions has long been acknowledged by that settled law, and today’s decision tragically separates women into classes of citizenship by geography. If you live in a state that acknowledges your fundamental rights, you have equal opportunity. If you live in a state that doesn’t acknowledge your fundamental rights, you are essentially a second-class citizen. The decision of today’s Supreme Court is unacceptable.

Women will continue to have access to legal and safe abortion here in Virginia.

Every election is critically important. It is essential that we maintain the Democratic majority in the Senate of Virginia and regain the majority in the House of Delegates so we can protect those rights for all Virginians."