TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—Weeks after the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, the ruling has officially been published: Roe v. Wade, the decision federally protecting abortion rights and the right to choose, stands no longer.
With five justices signing the decision into effect and three dissenting, many wonder what rights may be attacked next: access to contraception or even same-sex marriage. The ninth vote, Chief Justice John Roberts, did not vote to overturn Roe v. Wade but did vote to change the standards set forth in the 1973 court case.
The three judges who dissented said “The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone. […] To the contrary, the Court has linked it for decades to other settled freedoms involving bodily integrity, familial relationships and procreation, […]” as reported by CNN.
When the decision was leaked in May, protests broke out locally and nationally, and since the decision to overturn is now official, reactions are rolling in on social media and in press releases, the sentiments of which are compiled below. Additionally, the City of Ithaca is poised to declare itself an abortion sanctuary at next Common Council meeting, a movement that started after the leak was made public.
“Today, more than half of the American population became second-class citizens, stripped of their constitutional right to privacy and bodily autonomy, regardless of where they live,” U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.
Though abortion access rights are codified in New York State, along with 19 other states, the same rights are not protected in many others. Thirteen states have “trigger laws” making abortion illegal immediately or shortly thereafter overturning Roe v. Wade, and a wide variety of laws apply in the remaining states. The full list of state-by-state information can be found here.
A handful of states do not protect access by state law, and three states neither protect nor bar abortions in state laws or constitutions, and 28 states protect abortion access by state law or constitution, though 10 of those states have a cutoff of between 20 and 24 weeks.
Democratic New York State Senate Candidate Leslie Danks Burke said that “We cannot control the actions of extremist conservative Justices, but we do have the power to act swiftly to protect our rights and our lives, and ensure that New York remains a permanent safe haven for those seeking abortion care.”
Earlier this spring, legislation for a $35 million investment package was signed for abortion providers in New York. “The right to reproductive healthcare is a fundamental human right. History shows us that when abortion is banned, abortion becomes unsafe for women. Low-income individuals and people of color will be harmed the most,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
Former chair of the Tompkins County Legislature and former Democratic nominee for New York’s 23rd District Martha Robertson replied to Hochul’s tweet asking for passage of the Women’s Equality Amendment.
Other local reactions also took place on Twitter:
Congressional candidate for NY-19 Jamie Cheney said that “Today’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is an absolute disgrace, not only for its betrayal of nearly 50 years of legal precedent, but also for the irreparable and unnecessary harm it will have on women across this country.”
Josh Riley and Osun Zotique, the other two NY-19 Democratic candidates also responded to the decision.
“Women’s healthcare decisions are theirs to make, not the government’s,” Riley said.
Zotique shared a statement on Instagram acknowledging the impact of the decision and thanking care providers in the New York for their work. “I want to thank Planned Parenthood of the Upper Hudson Valley, for the vital work they do, in providing everyone — especially the LGBTQIA+ community — with basic sex education and sexual wellness services, testing, gender-affirming care, and more,” it said.
In response to the decision, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is hosting a virtual press conference at 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 24, to outline its plans to expand and enhance abortion services. The Zoom panel is free to the public, and registration can be found here.
Presumably the first of a few, a rally is also scheduled for Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. at DeWitt Park in Ithaca.
Update as of June 25: Senate Candidate Lea Webb released a statement on Twitter condemning the decision. “Half a century’s worth of process has been reversed over the course of 24 hours. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion in the United States. It will only end safe abortions.”
Correction: The original article drew the conclusion that Robertson was asking a push toward gun control legislation, but she clarified that she was asking for Hochul’s special session to pass the Women’s Equality Amendment in addition to its initial agenda.