By Caleb Hampton
Last Friday, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, condemned the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal abortion protections.
“A woman’s right to choose is fundamental and must be protected. I am outraged that the Republican-appointed Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and ended nearly five decades of critically important protections for women’s health and the right to choose,” Garamendi said. “This decision will not end abortion; it will only end safe abortion in America. Millions of women and families — especially the poorest and most vulnerable in our country — will be less safe because of this.”
By Friday afternoon, several states had already enacted laws criminalizing abortion in most circumstances and about half the states in the country were expected to do the same.
“We cannot accept this,” Garamendi said. “A majority of Americans support the protections provided by Roe v. Wade, and in a democracy, it is incumbent upon elected officials to carry out the will of the voters.”
The congressman warned that the rollback of abortion rights by the Supreme Court could be followed by the elimination of other federal protections. “Our intensely personal decisions belong to us; they have no place at the whim of political extremists and ideologues. It is unconscionable that my grandchildren could live in a country with fewer rights than the one I grew up in,” he said. “By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court is paving the way to end all federal protections for marriage equality, access to contraception, and more.”
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who will be running to represent Davis in November, also criticized the ruling, calling it “an assault on women’s rights” in an email.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is an assault on women, plain and simple,” Thompson said. “Roe was the law of the land for nearly 50 years, and the right to an abortion was settled law. This decision threatens the health of women and will lead to the criminalization and banning of reproductive care.
“This decision is just further evidence that the Senate must take up and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act that the House passed earlier this Congress. The lives of mothers across the country are depending on it.”
State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, emphasized California’s ability to continue to protect abortion rights.
“Clearly, the court is adopting dangerous policy, undoing a half-century of precedent, and putting the lives and freedoms of millions of women at risk,” Dodd said. “But California will not sit idly by as women across America are stripped of their rights.
“We already have strong laws supporting women, and this year we have a dozen bills to enshrine and expand women’s reproductive healthcare and the right to choose.”
On Tuesday, 4th District Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, sent out a community message called the decision to strike down Roe v. Wade a devastating moment.
“Women fought for decades for our right to make decisions about our bodies and the well-being of our families,” Aguiar-Curry said.
Aguiar-Curry announced she had co-authored AB 2134, to establish a Reproductive Health Equity Program that will grant providers who care for low-income patients and those who face other barriers. Additionally, SB 245 eliminates deductibles for abortion services, ensuring cost is not a barrier to accessing abortion services.
“I stand with Californians to defend the right to choose and lead the efforts to bolster access to reproductive health services as we prepare for an influx of people seeking abortions,” said Aguiar-Curry.
Crystal Apilado contributed to this article.