Elected leaders, candidates react to U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON, DC (WECT) - Elected leaders and candidates are speaking out following Friday’s historic 5-4 decision by the United States Supreme Court to end constitutional protections for abortion. The decision leaves the decision on regulating access to abortions in the hands of state governments.
“It’s fairly jarring to see it actually happen,” said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein. “To see the court overturn decades of settled precedent and strip women of their power to control their own bodies, their lives and their own medical decisions and hand that over to politicians.”
All eyes are now on the North Carolina General Assembly as republicans say they will am to roll back access to abortion across the state.
“Let’s have a reasonable debate,” said Republican State Representative Frank Iler. “And, again, remember all the issues that up in the air during this election and we can be civil.”
Meanwhile, democrats hope to codify a woman’s right to choose. Democratic State Representative Deb Butler says the issue is now up to voter’s to decide.
“It means if people don’t get up off the couch and vote in the midterms, they could find themselves in the likes of Texas, or somewhere where all abortion is unavailable to anyone for any reason,” said Butler. “It’s very scary.”
Butler says she is concerned about what the Supreme Court’s ruling could mean for other protected rights.
“These are individual liberties that were hard fought and hard won over generations by legions of women who risked everything,” Butler said. “And to see that rolled back along with other individual liberties, you know, this is just the tip of the spear. So, I fear what it portends, and I’m very upset by it.”
Iler says he agrees with his fellow republicans and hopes to introduce legislation to roll back abortion access at the start of next year.
“I’m all about freedom,” said Iler. “But again, it’s not the baby’s fault. It’s freedom of children and even unborn babies.”
Here are some of the statements from other elected officials and candidates received by WECT News:
“Judicial independence is a fundamental principle essential to maintaining the integrity of the U.S. Supreme Court and the rule of law. Continued efforts to undermine Americans’ confidence in the Supreme Court and to influence the Court’s decisions through intimidation and bullying tactics are a threat to one of our most sacred American values. In its ruling today, the Court determined the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision lacked legitimate constitutional grounds and returned decision-making back to the people. This is a momentous day for all of us who believe in and have fought for the sanctity of life. Today’s decision is constitutionally consistent and morally right. In issuing it, undeterred by outside pressure, the Court has upheld its chief responsibility to interpret the law as it is, not as some might wish it to be.” - Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina
“This ruling is historic and monumental and affirms my belief that all life is sacred. Each state government and its duly elected representatives will now make the determination about the types of laws they wish to have in place. I, for one, will continue to advocate for commonsense measures that the broad majority of Americans support like protecting life at crucial points of development and prohibiting horrendous procedures like partial-birth and pain-capable abortions. This is a very emotional and sensitive issue for many Americans, and I urge calm and respect for the Court’s decision and hope people who have strong feelings on both sides will voice them peacefully.” – Sen. Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina
“Every human life is sacred, and today’s historic ruling is right constitutionally, legally, and morally. Even the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized Roe vs. Wade for the shaky constitutional basis on which it was decided. It is the people’s moral obligation to fight for and protect the lives of those who cannot speak for themselves – the lives of those who are no different than our own. Today’s ruling is a significant win for life, and I will continue to support pro-life measures in Congress.” - Rep. David Rouzer, R-NC07
“For 50 years, women have relied on their constitutional right to make their own medical decisions, but today that right has been tragically ripped away. That means it’s now up to the states to determine whether women get reproductive health care, and in North Carolina they still can. I will continue to trust women to make their own medical decisions as we fight to keep politicians out of the doctor’s exam room.” – Gov. Roy Cooper, D-North Carolina
“As a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, I want to be clear: Our Constitution grants Americans the right to make decisions about their health care free from government interference. Today, for the first time in our history, the Supreme Court took away an individual constitutional right. I join people across the country in anger and fear at this moment for what the Supreme Court’s decision will mean for women, American families, and health care providers. This wrong and dangerous decision that overturns nearly 50 years of precedent shows exactly what’s at stake in this election and I will not hesitate to stand up for Americans’ freedom to make our own decisions about our own families.” – Cheri Beasley, D-Candidate for U.S. Senate
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a historic victory for the millions of Americans who believe that every life is precious and deserves protection. And it is a victory for the millions of unborn children who may now realize the most fundamental of all human rights, the right to life. The Court’s ruling correctly empowers the people’s representatives in each state to decide how best to protect unborn lives. As a conscience-driven pro-life advocate, I will continue to support protections for unborn children everywhere.” - Rep. Ted Budd, R-NC13 and candidate for U.S. Senate
“I have a message for the women of North Carolina: you still have a legal right to an abortion in our state. North Carolina state law protects women’s reproductive freedoms, even after the Supreme Court today stripped women of their right to an abortion under the Constitution by overturning Roe v. Wade. If we want to keep our freedoms under state law, then we have to elect state officials who commit to protecting them.” - Josh Stein, D-NC Attorney General
“I am overjoyed with the decision by our Supreme Court – for decades we have been praying for a day like today and it is finally here. I have experienced the pain of abortion in my own life and know the long-term effects it can have on families. This is a huge reason why I fight so hard for the life of the unborn. With this decision, our elected officials must act and protect our Justices from further attempts of intimidation and violence. This opinion gives control over abortion back to the states - where it rightfully belongs. However, here in North Carolina, this is cause for work, not celebration. Currently in North Carolina, abortion is legal for any reason up to 20 weeks of pregnancy. This is unacceptable. With the Supreme Court’s decision to return authority over this issue to the states, it will now be our duty to carefully craft legislation that will safeguard the life and health of all our citizens, born and unborn.” - Mark Robinson, R-NC Lieutenant Governor
“Today’s decision from the United States Supreme Court is long overdue and a major win for protecting life! The end of Roe v. Wade rightfully returns authority back to the states to determine abortion law. While I remain unequivocally pro-life, the short budget adjustment session does not afford us sufficient time to take up the issue. However, North Carolinians can rest assured that we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that current restrictions on the books will be enforced. North Carolinians can also expect pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January.” - Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, Speaker of NC House of Representatives
WECT News will post additional statements as we receive them.
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