HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – As Hampton Roads residents are learning of the news that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortions, local organizations on both sides of the issue are releasing statements on the decision.
With Friday’s decision, states can now make their own laws regarding whether a woman can have an abortion.
News 3 is gathering responses, including groups known to be on both sides of the issue.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the ruling that legalized abortions nationwide, Friday.— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) June 24, 2022
Do you agree with the Court's decision?
More on how Virginians are reacting: https://t.co/MQpaHrhBvf#News3Politics
The Hampton Roads Reproductive Justice League held a rally at the beginning of May when we first learned of the possibility. The group is holding another rally on Sunday, June 26 at 11 a.m. at Lafayette Park in Norfolk. It’s being called Speak Out Rally.
HRRJL’s Facebook page reads, “Bodily autonomy should not be dependent on socioeconomic status. It is unconscionable that our Governor is choosing to weaponize poverty against his citizens. This proposed action only highlights the importance and urgency of the work of abortion funds like ours and others in Virginia, across the US, and around the globe. Abortion is essential healthcare that should be accessible to all.”
The NAACP also released a statement on Friday's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
"Today's Supreme Court decision marks a significant regression of our country," said NAACP General Counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace. "As a legal professional, I am horrified by this decision. As a Black woman, I am outraged to my core. The deciding Justices have ignored fundamental civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution and years of judicial precedent to advance a politically partisan agenda. There is no denying the fact that this is a direct attack on all women, and Black women stand to be disproportionately impacted by the court's egregious assault on basic human rights. We must all stand up to have our voices heard in order to protect our nation from the further degradation of civil rights protections we have worked so hard to secure."
"It is evidently clear at this time that the future of our democracy hangs in the balance. This Supreme Court is turning back the clock to a dangerous era where basic constitutional rights only exist for a select few. They've stripped away our right to vote, and now women have lost their right to their own body. What's next?" said Portia White, Vice President of Policy and Legislative Affairs. "We cannot allow our future to rest in the hands of those determined to crush every bit of it. We need to fight back. Just this week, the NAACP and Vote.org formed an alliance to register and mobilize voters in what will be the most critical midterm election America has ever faced. If you're not registered to vote, or know someone who isn't, now is the moment. This is no time for anyone to sit on the sidelines."
Meantime, The Catholic Diocese of Richmond also sent out a statement Friday, in response to the final ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
For the full statement, click here.
It reads in part,
“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."
A News 3 crew went out to Granby Street to get reaction from citizens. Here's some of what they said:
“The country is going backward definitely on women’s rights.” -Kyle Steinbergin
“I just honestly think that no one has the right to make a decision for anybody else’s body.” - Amanda Macdiarmid
”Women’s rights are human rights and taking away abortion rights are taking away human rights and this Roe v Wade being repealed isn’t going to take away abortions it isn’t going to stop abortions. It’s just going to make it less safe for abortions and people are going to die.” -Madison Torres
“My thoughts are that it should be an individual decision, I don’t think the government should tell a woman or man what it should do with its body.” -Nina Ward
“Personally, I am pro-life; I want to see life happen. As a Christian, I 100% want to see life happen always. I also believe there are times when things are unfathomable and the government shouldn’t make a decision for that woman.” -Kadee Williams
News 3 is working to get more local reaction to this breaking news and will update this story.