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Arizona leaders, groups react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

APTOPIX Supreme Court Abortion Protests
Supreme Court
Ruben Gallego
Posted at 7:33 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-25 00:10:01-04

PHOENIX — Leaders and groups from across Arizona are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade and the fundamental right to abortion that has been the law for almost 50 years. The court ruled 6-3, in an opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito.

The court upheld a Mississippi law that bans all abortion past 15 weeks, with very few medical exceptions.

The court also overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, two landmark decisions legalizing abortion nationwide.

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement:

A woman’s health care choices should be between her, her family, and her doctor. Today's decision overturning Roe v. Wade endangers the health and wellbeing of women in Arizona and across America.

“Throughout my time in Congress, I’ve always supported women’s access to health care, and I’ll continue working with anyone to protect women’s ability to make decisions about their futures.

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued this statement:

Today's decision is a giant step backward for our country. Women deserve the right to make their own decisions about abortion. It is just wrong that the next generation of women will have fewer freedoms than my grandmother did," said Senator Kelly.

In Arizona, there are already restrictive bans on the books that will take rights away from Arizona women, without exceptions even in the case of rape or incest. I know that this decision and these laws are leaving many Arizonans frustrated and scared. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. I am resolved to defend and protect the right of Arizona women to make their own health care decisions," concluded Senator Kelly.

Planned Parenthood Arizona released the following statement:

"Today's egregious decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to annihilate abortion access throughout the country is devastating and will gravely impact pregnant people and their families in Arizona," said Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. "Arizona is one of the most hostile states in the country to abortion. We have pre-Roe abortion bans that are currently enjoined but still on the books, as well as other restrictions and a vague personhood statute that purports to acknowledge that embryos and fetuses have rights from the point of conception. There is a lack of legal clarity from the state on whether the Supreme Court's decision has legal impact on Arizonians' ability to exercise their right to abortion. Make no mistake - this absence of legal clarity in Arizona is exactly what anti-abortion politicians and judges hoped for. They have intentionally created legal chaos, leaving patients and providers fearful and confused about their rights and how to actualize them.

The impacts of this decision will be felt hardest by Arizonans who already face discriminatory and systemic obstacles to health care-particularly Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, undocumented people, and those having difficulty making ends meet," said Dr. Jill Gibson, MD, medical director for Planned Parenthood Arizona. "However, no matter how many additional barriers we must face, the real need for abortion care remains the same. Every person should have the right to access any health care they need without shame, unnecessary restrictions, or outside interference."

Arizonans' reproductive freedom is on the line and Planned Parenthood Arizona will always be here for our patients and providers, fighting every step of the way for them to receive and provide the essential sexual and reproductive health care they need."

Rep. Greg Stanton issued the following statement:

The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe will have immediate and devastating effects for Arizona women's health and safety-and their fundamental right to determine their futures.

This is a dark, dark day for our country, and the Supreme Court. For 50 years the Court had recognized the constitutional right to an abortion-and in the pursuit of an extreme, ideological agenda it has rolled out the red carpet for states to criminalize women and their doctors.

Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) released the following statement:

Today, I am furious, disappointed, crestfallen. This decision goes back on half a century of legal precedent; it is a mammoth setback for women, families, and our entire nation. My 16-year-old granddaughter will now have fewer rights than my wife had in the 1970s.

I firmly support a woman’s right to choose and believe that health care decisions should lie solely between a woman and her doctor. Now, that right and that privacy can be taken away.

From the time the draft decision was leaked, the Senate had over a month to take up and pass our Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have codified the federal protections guaranteed under Roe v. Wade into law. They failed to do so.

Senate Republicans Majority Leadership Team:

‘This is a monumental day for our nation and for babies. Here we are, finally celebrating the end of an era where the life of a child in the womb could be taken up to the moment of birth, for any reason deemed ‘right’ by the mother. Finally, justice is served for all those babies that never had the chance to live. The states will now decide how to protect mothers and their unborn children. We are praising the good Lord today and thanking SCOTUS for their courage in the face of incredible and physical and political threat. Arizona State Senate Republicans will continue to fight for the sanctity of life, the rule of law, morals, family values and against radical Democrats who aim to change society in some very dark and disturbing ways.”

Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs released the following statement:

Knowing that this day was coming doesn’t dull the pain. I am heartbroken and I am angry. Republican extremists have plotted for decades to install partisan judges at every level of the judicial system with the goal of ending women’s fundamental freedom to choose our own health care. But we still have a choice 一 at the ballot this November. Governors are now the final line of defense to protect access to safe and legal abortion, and it’s never been more urgent to vote for pro-choice champions at the state level. As governor, I will use my veto pen to block any legislation that compromises the right to choose, and I will do everything in my power to secure women’s rights for the next generation.

Representative Paul Gosar, DDS (AZ-04) issued the following statement:

Today's repudiation by the highest court of the land is a long overdue correction of an injustice that has led to over 62 million American babies slaughtered, more that the total deaths caused by World War II.

There is nothing in the Constitution that provides the right to have an abortion. Instead, the Supreme Court came up with the horrific ruling nearly 50 years ago justifying murder on demand by citing fake science by leftists and doctors who claimed that babies were considered viable at 28 weeks. We know that to be a blatant lie. Premature babies can survive at 22 weeks, or even earlier. At just five weeks, unborn babies have a heartbeat. At 10 weeks, babies can kick and jump and have fingers and toes. At 15 weeks, an unborn baby has fully formed lips and noses and can feel pain, make facial expressions, and can hiccup.

It was a dark time for America and our nation has suffered ever since. Parenthood has been marginalized and the moral foundation of our society has been badly eroded as nearly two million innocent and precious babies have been exterminated every year since the Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

Finally, there are better days ahead. I am incredibly grateful for the decision by the majority of justices who, in rendering this decision, have withstood assassination attempts and other threats since the illegal leak of a draft opinion several weeks ago. Today's decision is a return to civilization, equality and the respect for all human life," concluded Congressman Gosar.

Arizona Civil Liberties Union:

“Today’s ruling has thrown abortion access into limbo and providers have been forced to stop medical abortion care to avoid the risk of prosecution,” said Jared Keenan, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Abortion remains legal in Arizona, but anti-abortion politicians have passed laws that have chipped away at abortion access for years. As we navigate the next couple of days, we will continue to explore every legal avenue available to defend abortion access in our state.”

“With today’s decision, the Supreme Court has turned back the clock nearly 50 years on our fundamental rights. However, Arizona voters can change the course of history by electing candidates down the ballot who will defend access to abortion care,” said Jennifer Allen, Executive Director at the ACLU of Arizona. “In fact, it’s prosecutors who are on the frontlines of enforcing these backwards laws. That’s why the Maricopa County Attorney race is critical this year — voters in the state’s largest county have the chance to elect someone who will protect our rights and not prosecute people for seeking or providing an abortion.”

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08):

"The U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision on Dobbs. The abortion debate will finally be returned to the people through their elected representatives. The Court made it clear that there is no Constitutional right to an abortion and agreed with Constitutional scholars on both sides of the debate that Roe v. Wade was originally decided on shaky legal grounds.

Now, more than ever, it is time for us to unite to support vulnerable women and their unborn babies, and it is time for Republicans and Democrats alike to reject violence and intimidation."

Honest Arizona:

"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization to overturn the longstanding right to an abortion, which has guaranteed women's medical autonomy for decades, is the result of elected Republicans placing their reactionary ideology over the well-being of those they were elected to serve. Women in Arizona already face life-threatening prohibitions to acquiring a medically necessary abortion. In a post-Roe Arizona, women, particularly women of color, will have to overcome the highest barriers in the nation to getting an abortion, the financial burden of acquiring care will rise, and their doctors will be made into criminals for providing medical care."

House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding

"While today's decision is disheartening, it is not surprising. We have been fighting against dangerous right-wing ideology for decades, and we will continue to do so to ensure every person has freedom and control over their own bodies and livelihoods," Bolding said. "Bodily autonomy has been the precedent and a fundamental right for 50 years. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what a person does with their own body-- that doesn't sound like freedom to me. The right to a legal abortion is not gone, but this dangerous and chilling decision could have devastating consequences for the people of Arizona and across the entire country.

The court's decision goes directly against the will of the American people, the vast majority of whom support access to legal abortion. Let's be clear about what this is really about-- the anti-choice, anti-freedom movement doing whatever it takes to advance their ideological agenda of power and control regardless of the damage they leave in their wake."

Arizona Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán:

"This horrific news will not slow or lessen our fight for families. Right now Arizonans are going through periods of anger, sadness, and frustration, in response to this brutal attack on our freedoms. Ultimately, those emotions are fueling our continued fight for our most basic rights. This decision is the result of the GOP's dangerous, decades-long crusade to rip away reproductive rights, insert politicians into personal health care decisions, and ultimately, ban abortion entirely, even in cases of rape and incest. Now, they're celebrating the dangerous and disastrous consequences it will have on millions of American families - and blatantly disregarding the majority of Arizona voters who support access to abortion. But Arizonans can trust that as Democrats, we are united on this issue. With Democrats in office, at all levels of government, these rights will be protected. Likewise, Democrats and our pro-choice allies will continue this fight in courtrooms across our state and nation. We know voters across the political spectrum are with us on this issue, and we are confident they will make their voices heard at the voting booth come November."

Maricopa County Attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle:

"It's not far-fetched to see that in Arizona, it will be more likely a sexual assault victim is prosecuted for undergoing a medical procedure than the person who attacked them thanks to extremist anti-reproductive health laws and an extremist yet inept county attorney. Arizonans deserve to access critical medical care without fear, and I will not allow the criminal legal system in our county to be weaponized against pregnant people for making private and personal healthcare decisions at the expense of real public safety priorities. This is why I am committed to never prosecuting individuals and families who seek out and secure abortion care. Not now. Not ever. Rather than wielding political power and our limited tax dollars to force birth and jail healthcare workers, I'm going to use the office to combat corruption, hold the government accountable and protect victims."

"I never imagined my daughters would grow up in an America where they have fewer rights than I did, and really, by the time they are teenagers, with fewer rights than their grandmothers had."

The Republican Party of Arizona Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward:

“As a physician, I know firsthand that abortion is not healthcare. Someone always dies during an abortion procedure. I took an oath to do no harm and abortion is harmful in so many ways. And as a former legislator, I’ve always known that abortion is not in the Constitution and there was never a right to kill a baby. Praise the Lord - it’s over!”

Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix:

“Every human life, from conception to natural death, no matter the circumstances, is a direct gift from God.

With today’s decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, in Dobbs v. Jackson, I rejoice that our country has begun to repair the damage done to our nation by the catastrophes of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey—two Court decisions that led to the destruction of more than 60 million lives and confused our nation’s laws and moral conscience. It is providential that this decision was released on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Today we can begin to heal from this wound. I gratefully join my voice to the clear Statement of the US Bishops in response to this decision.

For decades, those in the Pro-Life movement have prayed, sacrificed, peacefully demonstrated, and walked with mothers in need to uphold the dignity of every human life.

Let today’s decision be a turning point for our nation—the day we renew our commitment to uphold the inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence and build a culture of life and civilization of love. Let us redouble our efforts to accompany mothers in need, act as peacemakers with all our fellow citizens, strengthen laws that protect innocent life, and proclaim the dignity of every human person, each of whom is made in the image of our loving God.”