By T.A. Hendrickson
Elected officials representing Northeast Los Angeles have condemned the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.
In statements issued after the decision was announced, local officials said the ruling was shocking in its disregard for women, legal precedent and public opinion, and further evidence of rule by an extremist minority. They emphasized that abortion remains safe and legal in California, including in the City and County of L.A. They denounced the disparate impact the decision will have on poor women. They called on their constituents to fight back for their rights.
Here, in their own words:
Kevin de León, City Councilmember for NELA’s Council District 14: “A vicious attack on the medical freedom of all women.”
De León wrote that the justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade are “political extremists.”
“It is absolutely unconscionable that the highest court in the land stripped away the basic right of every woman in America to control her body – a right with which the vast majority of Americans agree,” wrote De León.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade “all but guarantees that more women – particularly poor women of color – are going to die in the wealthiest nation on the planet,” he wrote.
De León’s statement was also a call to action. In California and Los Angeles, women retain the right to make decisions over their own body, he wrote. “Now is the time for us to unite and organize like never before to ensure once and for all that a woman’s right to choose is permanently protected.”
Read De León’s full statement here.
Hilda Solis, L.A County Supervisor in NELA’s 1st Supervisory District: “Abortion IS healthcare.”
“This decision is an assault on people’s freedom, one’s bodily autonomy,” Solis wrote. “And although this decision comes as no surprise, it is devastating. Pregnant people will die, families will suffer, and this is just the start.”
The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sets the stage for overturning rulings that safeguard contraception, same-sex relationship and same-sex marriage, wrote Solis.
She called the decision “yet another tragic example of extremist viewpoints in our government controlling our lives,” adding that the decision proves that control over Americans is more important to the extremists than “Americans’ autonomy, privacy, and safety.
Solis expressed solidarity with those who are ready to fight for their rights. “To the millions who are angry with today’s decision – I share in your unbelievable pain and your fury. And I stand with you, ready to fight back.”
Read Solis’ full statement here.
Maria Elena Durazo, State Senator for NELA’s California Senate District 24: “A step backwards in our fight for women’s rights.”
Durazo’s statement, released on behalf of the 30-member California Latino Legislative Caucus, wrote that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will “take us back to a time where women relied on unsafe and often deadly procedures.”
Especially in harm’s way will be “low income communities of color who already face barriers in accessing reproductive health services,” she wrote.
Durazo pledged to maintain California’s leadership position on reproductive rights, writing, “In California, we will continue to lead the way for reproductive healthcare access.”
Read Durazo’s full statement here.