Roe Goes, Massachusetts Politicians Erupt

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The U.S. Supreme Court pro-abortion decisions Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey were overturned on Friday.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the Supreme Court held in a 6-3 decision that “the Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.” 

Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett in overturning Roe and Casey. Thomas and Kavanaugh wrote concurring opinions.

Chief Justice John Roberts also wrote a narrowly tailored concurring opinion, joining the majority in upholding a Mississippi statute that bans abortions after 15 weeks but saying he would have preferred to leave Roe and Casey standing.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan dissented. 

Massachusetts is a heavily pro-abortion state. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held that the state constitution protects a right to an abortion. All the major office holders in Massachusetts support legal abortion:  Governor Charlie Baker; U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge) and Ed Markey (D-Malden); all nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives; and the leadership and most individual members of the state House of Representatives and state Senate.

Here are some of the reactions of Massachusetts politicians to Dobbs:


Boston Mayor Michelle Wu

“Right-wing justices, emboldened by a fringe minority, are endangering lives by stripping away basic reproductive rights. This cannot and will not stand. In Boston, we will never stop fighting — for our freedoms and for each other. This moment does not belong to the far right. It belongs to us and, like bodies, we decide what to do with it. So, together, let’s meet this moment with all the urgency and courage it demands.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Katherine Clark

“Overturning the right to an abortion brings us to the horrifying reality of government-mandated pregnancy – we are now living in a dystopian nightmare. Forced pregnancy is morally abhorrent, and this decision will set women back decades. But we are not powerless. We will fight.” (Twitter)


U.S. Senator Ed Markey

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood is an egregious and overtly political act that jeopardizes the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans. Abolish the filibuster, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and expand the Court now.” (Twitter)


U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren

“Six radical Supreme Court Justices have overturned nearly 50 years of precedent, stripping away the constitutional right to an abortion. After decades of scheming, Republicans have finally forced their unpopular agenda on the rest of America. They have decided that the government — not the person who is pregnant — should make a private health care decision and deny women the right to control their own bodies and futures. But these extremists will not have the final word. Democrats have tools to fight back, from legislation in Congress to executive orders from the President to initiatives at the state and local level — we just need to use them. We are angry — angry and determined. We will not go back. Now now. Not ever.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley 

“We will never stop fighting to affirm what we know is true:  abortion care is a fundamental human right.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Seth Moulton

“This decision takes control of women’s bodies away from them and gives it to politicians. It is terribly wrong.” (Twitter)


“The newly-politicized Supreme Court has stolen control of women’s bodies and handed it to state politicians – mostly men, mostly white, and too many who are closer to far-right ideologues than the American people. It is wrong.” (Twitter)


Governor Charlie Baker

“Today, in response to the US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, I signed an executive order to protect access to reproductive health care services in the Commonwealth.” (Twitter)

Read the executive order here.


State Senator Rebecca Rausch

“Abortion will remain legal in MA, but there is much work to be done. State governments are our last line of defense against federal injustice, and I will fight tooth and nail for our fundamental reproductive and civil rights.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss 

“This SCOTUS decision is a judicial assault on women’s right to control their own bodies and their own lives. This November, go to the polls, give Democrats a greater margin in the Senate, and we will send legislation to President Biden that protects safe and legal abortion.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Lori Trahan

“The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn #Roe are devastating. Millions of women are losing access to safe, legal abortion care immediately because of anti-abortion state laws taking effect now that the opinion is official.

That’s not the America we should want for any of our daughters, but it’s going to get worse if anti-choice extremists have their way. They’re already plotting to override state laws like the Roe Act so it’s illegal for every woman in America to control our own bodies.

The stakes have never been higher in the fight for abortion rights. Our daughters simply can’t afford for us to lose.” (Twitter thread)


U.S. Representative Jim McGovern

“An extremist majority on the Supreme Court just decided to undermine American’s freedom by giving politicians say over private healthcare decisions that should be between a women and her doctor. While this is a dark day in our nation’s history, it must be a catalyst for action.

6 justices — 5 appointed by GOP presidents who lost the popular vote — are taking away the rights of millions of Americans. 2 of them have faced credible sexual assault accusations. 1 of them is married to someone who tried to overthrow the government.

Before I’m a member of Congress, I’m a dad. Many parents are struggling with the impact of this news for the autonomy of our kids. I’m enraged this generation will have fewer rights than the last. Overturning Roe flies in the face of judicial precedent & delegitimizes the court.

We must continue fighting for an America where abortion is safe and legal for women in America. Extremist Republicans — from Congress to the court—are not done stripping away freedoms. It’s up to all of us to keep fighting for what we believe in. We will not give up.” (Twitter thread)


U.S. Representative Richard Neal

“Today’s ruling is the dangerous culmination of Republicans’ decades-long effort to roll back women’s freedoms and control their health care decisions. This ruling is a distressing and shameful step backwards. Democrats will fight like hell to protect women’s rights.” (Twitter)


U.S.  Representative Bill Keating

“Make no mistake — this decision is not just an attack on abortion rights by an extremist Supreme Court majority — it is an attack on the autonomy of half of the population of the United States, an attack on their inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As a man, I will never know what it’s like to be denied a procedure by my doctor because the government said so — but now the Supreme Court has decided that not only can women be denied a procedure, they can be forced to carry a pregnancy and give birth.

Somewhere in America today is a woman who will die because an extremist Supreme Court majority took away her right to safe, legal abortion.

She may not have the funds to travel out of state, or maybe her employer will fire her if she takes time off to travel. She will turn to providers operating in the shadows outside of a medical setting, something will go wrong, and she will die.

I will never forget the stories of tragic deaths I heard from pro-choice advocates who worked in hospitals before Roe. We cannot go back to those dark days.

Abortion care should be accessible to all, not just those who live in the right part of the country or have the financial resources to travel. I have never wavered in my position on choice, and I pledge to fight like hell to right this wrong.” (Twitter)


U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch

“In overruling Roe v. Wade and nearly five decades of carefully deliberated precedent protecting the fundamental right to privacy of all Americans, this Supreme Court majority has unwisely resolved to place political idealogy above its Constitutional role as the impartial arbiter of law and a guardian of our Constitution.” (Statement via Twitter)


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