Local pro-choice advocates reacted with dismay Friday to the Supreme Court ruling Friday morning overturning Roe v. Wade and vowed to fight the decision.
“This is a devastating day,” Jenna Tosh, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, told the News-Press. “The Supreme Court has taken away the federal right to abortion and overturned Roe v. Wade, turning its back on 50 years of precedent.
“At Planned Parenthood, we believe that personal medical decisions should be made by you and you alone,” Ms. Tosh said. “Lawmakers and judges should not be making decisions about our bodies, our lives or our futures.”
In a news release, Planned Parenthood California Central Coast said, “We are outraged and ready to fight. The Supreme Court has taken away the constitutional right to abortion, a right we’ve had for nearly 50 years. The court, now dominated by justices hostile to reproductive freedom, has robbed millions of the power to control decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures.”
But others in the community and California said the decision correctly puts the matter in the hands of the states and noted it won’t affect California.
Bobbi McGinnis, chair of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party, sees the Supreme Court ruling as a win for both sides.
“The decision made by the Supreme Court today is not a surprise. It has little impact on California,” she told the News-Press, adding, “I think it is a win for both sides: pro-choice and pro-life. It moves the rules regarding abortion from the federal courts to the state courts and legislatures.”
Ms. McGinnis quoted Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the court’s majority opinion: “We now return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
Ms. McGinnis added that Californians are worried about other issues.
“Californians are much more concerned about the high cost of gas, the 10% inflation, the high cost of living, homelessness and the high crime rates across California cities. We Republicans, whether we are pro-choice or pro-life, want a new direction for California, a return to common sense governance and the California dream.”
But U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., condemned the ruling,
“The right to an abortion is an essential right. But today, six right-wing justices on the Supreme Court cast aside half a century of precedent to overturn Roe v. Wade. This draconian decision will deprive millions of Americans of the basic freedom to make decisions for their own bodies,” Sen. Padilla said. “It also jeopardizes other fundamental civil rights, like the right to marry who you love, the right to privacy, and the right to access contraception.
“I refuse to accept a reality in which women across the country are stripped of the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health,” he said. “And the American people shouldn’t accept this either. I will do everything I can in the Senate to enshrine reproductive rights in federal law. But with so much on the line, I also urge every American to make their voice heard, especially at the ballot box, to ensure that this generation of women is not left with fewer rights than their mothers.”
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, also criticized the Supreme Court ruling in a statement Friday.
“This decision, which overturns a half century of legal precedent, is a betrayal of our Constitution and a betrayal of millions of women who count on its protections to retain control of their own body and choices,” the congressman said. “As more than half of all U.S. states stand ready to eradicate women’s reproductive rights in the wake of this decision, the majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose must see this as a call to action.
“States that have further enshrined these rights like California must stand as a beacon and safe harbor for those whose health care access is now imperiled,” he said.
“And we must continue to search for a pathway for legislation, which I have already helped pass in the House to codify Roe into federal law,” said Rep. Carbajal.
In September, the House passed HR 3755, the Women’s Health Protection Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Carbajal, to codify a woman’s right to an abortion into law.
But the measure failed to get the 60 votes it needed in the Senate.
Brad Allen, the Summerland resident who is running against Rep. Carbajal in the Nov. 8 general election, quoted a liberal Supreme Court justice as he discussed the issue with the News-Press.
“The Supreme Court today decided to let states decide the question of abortion, thereby returning power to the states and the people who elect their state legislatures,” the Republican candidate said. “As Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in 1992, this is probably how the issue should have been handled from the beginning. By the people, not the courts.
“And with the majority of abortions now done with pills, this is not a return to 1973,” Dr. Allen, a semi-retired pediatric heart surgeon, said. “Hopefully by returning this issue to the states, and therefore the people, we will finally find a way to move forward and resolve this issue by letting the people decide. That is how democracy is supposed to work.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, applauded the court’s ruling.
“Every unborn child is precious, extraordinary, and worthy of protection,” Rep. McCarthy said in a LinkedIn post Friday. “We applaud this historic ruling, which will save countless innocent lives. The Supreme Court is right to return the power to protect the unborn to the people’s elected representatives in Congress and the states.
“In the days and weeks following this decision, we must work to continue to reject extreme policies that seek to allow late-term abortions and taxpayer dollars to fund these elective procedures,” he said. “The people’s representatives must defend the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for every American — born and unborn. As we celebrate today’s decision, we recognize the decades of advocacy from the pro-life movement. and we acknowledge much work remains to protect the most vulnerable among us.”