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Marylanders react to Roe v. Wade

June 24th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, tweeted a statement, saying: "The right to choose is fundamental and a decision that a woman should make in consultation with a doctor or other health care provider, free of political interference from federal, state or local government.

"Throughout my time in Congress, I have been a steadfast supporter of reproductive rights, and this will not change. I will continue to work to ensure that women can access the care that they need."

During the taping for "11 TV Hill," which airs at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, said: "This must be breaking news as we speak here. If the Supreme Court decision is the same as the leaked opinion, this is a very bad day for America. It will take away a woman's right to reproductive freedom and reproductive choice. This is a big reversal (of a) constitutional right and we need to fight it every step of the way."

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-District 1, Maryland's sole Republican member of Congress, tweeted a statement, saying: "Today, the Supreme Court got it right in overturning the incorrectly decided decades-old Roe opinion that treated young human life as not worthy of protection under our Constitution. As I have long said, human life is worthy of protection from conception until its natural end, and I am thankful that this ruling now affirms that. It is my hope that this decision will be respected on the legal merits upon which it is written."

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, D-District 3, released a statement, saying: "Today, the extremist Supreme Court majority struck down the constitutional right to abortion — and with it, the fundamental right of women to control their own health, lives and futures. This decision casts aside settled precedent and overrules the voices of a broad majority of Americans who support reproductive freedom. It only deepens the crisis of legitimacy that now surrounds the highest court in the land.

"While abortion is and will remain legal in Maryland, this decision opens the door to the passage of draconian measures that criminalize reproductive health care in states across the country. These laws will have a disproportionate impact on minority and low-income communities who already struggle to afford and obtain abortion. Moreover, this decision signals the Supreme Court's intention to wage war against other constitutionally-protected rights, including LGBTQ+ rights and access to contraception.

"I was proud to vote in support of the Women's Health Protection Act when it passed the House last year. I will continue fighting to protect abortion access and ensure that all Americans — no matter where they live — can exercise their reproductive freedom."

| RELATED: These are the states where abortion rights are still currently protected

U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, D-District 4, released a statement, saying: "Today, six justices on the Supreme Court decided to strip away a long-established constitutional right and Americans' ability to make their own health care decisions. Overturning Roe v. Wade jeopardizes the health of millions of Americans across the country, particularly Black, Latina, indigenous and underserved women.

"Make no mistake, while today, radical justices are rolling back abortion rights, they won't stop there. This decision makes clear that every right and step forward for progress in our country's history is in jeopardy — rights to contraceptives, LGBTQ+ rights and hard-fought civil rights that generations of activists and lawmakers have pushed for and defended.

"Now is not the time to be despondent, now is the time for action.

"I proudly testified before the Maryland General Assembly in support of our state expanding abortion services. Abortion is still legal in Maryland and must remain so, and enshrined in our state constitution. I also stood with my colleagues in the House to pass legislation codifying the protections of Roe v. Wade into law. Now, the question is before the Senate and all those who continue to stand in the way of protecting the rights, lives, bodies and freedoms of the Americans they purport to serve.

"We can't accept a country where women and Americans don't have full control over their bodies. We can't accept a country that forces individuals into birth and simultaneously ignores a maternal mortality crisis in our communities of color. We can't accept this decision or that six unelected judges take away the rights of millions. We need to mobilize in every community, in every state, and in Congress to push back on this immoral and cruel decision. Rights and lives are on the line."

| RELATED: Maryland abortion law settled by ballot question in 1992

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-District 5, released a statement, saying: "Today is a dark day for the privacy of everyone in America and the freedom of women to make their own health care decisions. In striking down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court's Republican-appointed justices ignored nearly five decades of precedent and clear Constitutional principles.

"The American people know that our Constitution guarantees women's reproductive freedom, even if these six justices do not. That's why the House already passed Rep. Judy Chu's Women's Health Protection Act, which would enshrine the principles of Roe v. Wade in federal statute. However, Senate Republicans continue to filibuster that bill, rejecting even debate on that measure just a few weeks ago. As Democratic-led states move to implement stronger protections for reproductive choice, I expect many Republican-led states will do the opposite, advancing draconian state laws that criminalize abortion.

"This decision also opens a door to overturning established precedent on many other important rights and freedoms enjoyed by Americans, including contraception access and the right of LGBTQ Americans to marry those they love. No right is safe from this activist group of Republican-appointed justices who see themselves as legislators. We will not rest, we will not yield, we will not waver in our determination to restore the protections that Roe v. Wade offered and that Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed."

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh released a statement, saying: "Today's decision strips away the fundamental right of women to control their own bodies. Including in its sweep even survivors of abuse, rape and incest, it robs all women of autonomy to make the most personal decisions about their health care. Its harms will have disproportionate impact on women of color and those of low income, many of whom already lack meaningful access to affordable health care of any kind. And even more broadly, this decision overturning 50 years of precedent also threatens the rights of all Americans to make private decisions about their lives without government interference.

"I am proud of my vote over 30 years ago to codify Roe v. Wade in state law, and I am proud of the work that our office has done since to protect and expand access to reproductive health care services across Maryland. We will continue to champion the rights of women to make their own health care decisions and to safeguard the right to privacy for all Marylanders."

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott released a statement, saying: "Today, the court has taken aim at women and their right to make fundamental health choices about their own bodies. This decision is especially harmful for Black women and women of color, who already face disparate health challenges and barriers to care. The court got it absolutely wrong again today. Men have absolutely no place deciding what women do with their bodies.

"I promise to make sure Baltimore City is doing its part to maintain safe access to abortion services for our resident and those who come here seeking care. I call on my fellow mayors to do the same in their cities.

"This election cycle couldn't be more important. If, like me, you support women's rights, make sure your voice is heard on the ballot."

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley released a statement, saying: "Today's decision from the Supreme Court to overturn the long-standing precedent of Roe v. Wade, is a devastating blow to women's rights. While none of us are surprised, we remain deeply disturbed by the court's willingness to overturn precedent and their contradictory position on state's rights — shown in their decision today, versus their decision yesterday to override state's rights on reasonable gun safety laws.

"I stand with all women today who are fighting this assault on their right to health care and privacy. I am grateful we have strong partners at every level in this fight. Because of their work, and the past work of our state Legislature, Maryland will remain a safe haven for women seeking reproductive choice.

"Maryland will continue to be a strongly pro-choice state, but we won't walk away from supporting all women across America whose rights have been stripped away with one Supreme Court decision. Later today, all those in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County who stand with us are invited to gather at People's Park at 5 p.m. There will be an opportunity to hear from elected officials, medical professionals and women's rights activists.

"We have a long road ahead but we must remain focused on the work before us. Codifying Roe at the federal level, and electing pro-choice candidates across this country, can help undo this damage. Consider me an ally in the fight."