Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal Reacts to the End of Roe v. Wade
This Supreme Court is hell-bent on destroying the very foundations of our democratic ideals that we hold dear. The Court gave the gift of guns to millions of Americans yesterday, and today it sentenced women to forced pregnancy.
Individuals and religious zealots have finally made good on their decades-old promise to eradicate a woman's fundamental right to choose. Today's barbaric Supreme Court ruling will immediately relegate millions of women to unknown basements, back alleys and unmarked offices to receive dangerous and deadly healthcare.
Since Roe's inception in 1973, religious groups have made it their mission to methodically dismantle abortion rights. With the help of far-right state legislatures across the country, anti-abortion groups celebrated the introduction of approximately 541 abortion restrictions in 42 states; 42 of which have become law.
States like Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, grant friends, family, neighbors and even strangers, the right to sue women they suspect of having an abortion. In April, just a mere month before the Supreme Court warned the nation that women's rights were on the chopping block, Texas authorities jailed a 26-year-old woman for informing hospital staff of a miscarriage.
A woman's legal autonomy to make her own healthcare decisions is ancient history in many states. However, New York is proudly stepping up to fill that void.
In 1970, New York State passed a law allowing legal abortion. In 2019, New York passed the Reproductive Health Act, decriminalizing abortion and codifying Roe v. Wade protections into state law. Earlier this month, New York State passed further protections into law, including my legislation to protect providers from medical malpractice and professional discipline for providing reproductive healthcare to women who travel from out-of- state for care.
As advocates have said for years, the religious right should not be offered a voice in a conversation between a woman and her doctor. Instead, women's lives are now being controlled by male legislators who barely understand the concept of a uterus, and Christian cult members who call themselves members of the Supreme Court.
We must make a promise as we navigate this new reality that we will not be succumb to vile campaigns that espouse hate. While today is an exceptionally dark day in history, we, as a country, will take a note from the many who've come before us in the long fight for equality. It's time to make some good trouble.