Watch CBS News

California leaders react to SCOTUS overturn of Roe v. Wade

get the free app
  • link copied
Local activists fear Roe v. Wade reversal threatens other civil liberties
Local activists fear Roe v. Wade reversal threatens other civil liberties 01:58

In a highly anticipated decision, The Supreme Court of the United States has overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, allowing states to usher in new rules limiting or banning access to abortion in dozens of states, in some places immediately.

In 1973, Roe v. Wade established a right to abortion across the country, but in May, a leaked draft opinion suggested that SCOTUS would overturn the decision, bringing an end to the 50 years of precedent. 


Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia says decision 'recklessly endangers' wellbeing of women

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, one of many local mayors to join a coalition to continue serving as places where women can make their own reproductive decisions, also issued an additional statement, which read:

"This morning, the United States Supreme Court took the extreme step of overturning Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutionally protected right to an abortion. The decision will have devastating consequences and recklessly endangers the basic autonomy, health and wellbeing of women across the country. In nearly half of U.S. states today, reproductive healthcare decisions no longer rest with women and their doctors but instead exist at the whim of state legislators.

Today we are in a country with fewer rights than we had yesterday. A country where someone can be forced by the state to give birth — even if they do not want to, regardless of risks to their lives and health, and irrespective of the costs. This is a dark moment for our country, but we cannot lose hope. We must each fight back and speak up with everything we have.

Here in Long Beach and in California, we are working to protect and expand abortion access — not just for our community here, but for those in states across the country who now need to cross borders to access basic healthcare. In February, we directed our Health Department to work with Planned Parenthood and Los Angeles County to begin planning for this day and ensure everyone seeking an abortion in Long Beach and in our region is able to receive one.

Make no mistake, this is already one of the most destructive assaults on American rights in modern history — and in issuing this decision the Supreme Court has explicitly indicated a willingness to overturn other rulings protecting contraception access, LGBTQ+ rights and same-sex marriage. We cannot let that happen.

Long Beach stands with women, we believe abortion care is health care and we will not stop working to defend these most basic, and truly personal freedoms."

By CBSLA Staff

L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis: 'Comes as no surprise'

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis expressed her disappointment with the decision, which she said "comes as no surprise." 

In a full statement, Solis said:

"It is impossible to put into words the emotions I am feeling right now. I am saddened. But I am also outraged.

50 years in the making—Republicans have succeeded in overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, eviscerating one's right to an abortion. While abortion will remain legal in California, they are now illegal in 26 states and the ramifications extend far beyond these states' borders.

This decision is an assault on people's freedom, one's bodily autonomy. And although this decision comes as no surprise, it is devastating. Pregnant people will die, families will suffer, and this is just the start.

Clarence Thomas' concurring opinion sets the stage for what's to come. They plan to overturn rulings that safeguard same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage, and contraception. The majority opinion, combined with Thomas' concurrence, is yet another tragic example of extremist viewpoints in our government controlling our lives. The Supreme Court is proving that its control over how we live is more important than Americans' autonomy, privacy, and safety.

But I want to be clear:  Abortion is legal and safe in California, including Los Angeles County. 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.

Abortion IS healthcare."

By CBSLA Staff

L.A. City Council members Kevin de Leon issues statement

Several Los Angeles City Council members also offered their own statements on the SCOTUS decision, including District 14 representative Kevin de Leon.

De Leon's statement echoed the same sentiment of many other local politicians, stating that the move was a "vicious attack on the medical freedom of all women." In full, it said:

"Today political extremists on the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the constitutionally protected right to an abortion — a vicious attack on the medical freedom of all women. This is emotionally stunning.

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. This decision all but ensures that more women - particularly poor women of color - are going to die in the wealthiest nation on the planet.

But in this State and in this City, we believe that a woman's right to make decisions over her body is hers and hers alone. 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."

By CBSLA Staff

Congressman Darrell Issa: 'Great day for the cause and the principle of life'

California Congressman and Republican Darrell Issa also issued a statement, one of the few in the state to support SCOTUS' decision. 

His statement said:

"Today is a great day for the cause and the principle of life.

"A clear majority of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States appropriately upheld its core purpose in our structure of self-governance: To discharge their duties faithfully and impartially under the Constitution. This is always the right way and the best way for the High Court to function.
"Judges hold a most precious power. They must be independent. They must interpret our laws. They must not make laws or rewrite laws. Judges must interpret our statutes as written. They must interpret the Constitution as written.
"I will always stand for life. And I will always support and defend our Constitution."

By CBSLA Staff

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán: 'No words can describe the heartbreak'

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán joined the throngs of Californian politicians promising to battle SCOTUS' decision, releasing a statement which read:

"No words can describe the heartbreak, despair, and fear millions of women across this country are experiencing following this decision. The decision blatantly and cruelly disregards women in America, an injustice that will never be a problem for the male Justices who formed part of the majority for this ruling. This ruling reduces women to second-class citizens who with less rights over their own body and personal decisions."

"Soon, abortion will be illegal in 16 states post-Roe. This decision will endanger the lives and health of women across the country. Latina, Black, Indigenous, and AAPI women will be disproportionately impacted through a lack of access and availability of reproductive services – and as a result, will almost assuredly have higher rates of health and reproductive complications."

"Republicans led by Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump put in a place a radical, right wing Court majority – that is wildly out-of-step with the American people and even with their own judicial norms and precedents. Unfortunately, Democrats saw this possibility coming, that's why the House passed H.R. 3755, the Women's Health Protection Act, - a bill to codify Roe v. Wade into law and protect access to abortion across the country. Senate Republicans killed the bill, leaving millions of women on at risk."

"The right to an abortion is a fundamental right, and I believe that we must do whatever it takes to restore this fundamental right, including by expanding the Supreme Court. Every day that goes by before the Senate takes up this critical legislation puts women's lives in jeopardy."

"I am angry, I am sad, I am disappointed, but this fight is not over. I will fight like hell until every woman in this country can safely access an abortion if they so choose. The decision to have an abortion is deeply personal, and the government has no place in a decision that should be solely between a woman and her healthcare provider."

By CBSLA Staff

California Attorney General Rob Bonta: 'I will not stop fighting'

California Attorney General Rob Bonta also voiced his support for abortion rights, promising to fight for a full range of reproductive care for American women. His statement said:

"I won't lie – this is a big setback for reproductive freedom and the guaranteed right to the full range of reproductive care, including access to safe, legal abortion.

Abortion remains legal in California. And I can promise you today, tomorrow, and every single day to come that I will not stop fighting to protect and further codify these rights, because these decisions should be made by the people involved – not politicians, and not six Supreme Court justices. 

As long as I am attorney general, I will use the full force of the law and the full authority of my office to defend reproductive freedom. My opponent can't say the same: I am the only person in this race who has committed to protecting the full range of reproductive care. 

We must not back down now. California has been not just a symbol of progress but proof that it is possible, on legal protections for abortion and so many other issues. I am in this fight today and every day."

By CBSLA Staff

California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago says 'decades of progress destroyed'

California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, representative for Los Angeles' 53rd District issued a statement, which read:

"What a blow to women's rights and a tragic day in our history. I am devastated to see decades of progress destroyed by six right wing justices. As a CA legislator, this makes passing SCA 10 more important than ever to protect reproductive freedom in CA."

By CBSLA Staff

Congressman Adam Schiff says SCOTUS has 'partisan and socially backward agenda'

Congressman Adam Schiff, the representative for Burbank called the court's agenda into question in a statement released moments after the decision was announced. His statement read:

"The Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v. Wade is a dangerous and divisive rollback of a half a century's progress and legal protections.

"This decision is also a betrayal of the commitments made by recent justices during their confirmation hearings, who indicated under oath they would uphold decades of legal precedent. It is a repudiation of some of our nation's most cherished values, from the right to privacy to the right of everyone to make their own health care decisions. The fact that this opinion does not come as a surprise does not make it any less traumatic for the millions of women now stripped of their access to safe and legal abortion; it does not make it any less frightening for the millions of people now worried about whether their fundamental freedoms will be the next to fall.

"This decision did not happen in a vacuum. After waging an all-out assault against abortion access for decades, after committing shocking acts of constitutional disrespect by withholding the confirmation of a justice nominated by a Democratic president and jamming through a Republican nominee during an election campaign, after conspiring with state legislators across the country to put forth some of the most draconian criminal penalties imaginable, Republicans are now one step closer to their ultimate goal: a nationwide ban on abortion.

"Make no mistake, this court is not conservative — it is partisan, with a partisan and socially backward agenda.

"We have come too far and fought too hard to enshrine the right to choose for Republicans to roll back the clock. We must bring an end to this national nightmare, and make sure the American people know that Democrats have always been and will always be the party fighting for women's fundamental rights. We must codify Roe, and ensure women control their health care decisions for generations to come."

By CBSLA Staff

Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg: SCOTUS is 'criminalizing women'

In a brief but loaded statement, California Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg said:

"The Supreme Court is criminalizing women. The majority's theological bent wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant and is a throwback to when women were property and knew their place. That past is our future if Americans don't wake up and vote."

By CBSLA Staff

Senator Alex Padilla denounces decision

In a statement released in the moments following the decision, Senator Alex Padilla denounced what he called a "draconian" decision. His statement read, in full:

"The right to an abortion is an essential right. But today, six right-wing justices on the Supreme Court cast aside half a century of precedent to overturn Roe v. Wade. This draconian decision will deprive millions of Americans of the basic freedom to make decisions for their own bodies. It also jeopardizes other fundamental civil rights, like the right to marry who you love, the right to privacy, and the right to access contraception.

"I refuse to accept a reality in which women across the country are stripped of the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. And the American people shouldn't accept this either. I will do everything I can in the Senate to enshrine reproductive rights in federal law. But with so much on the line, I also urge every American to make their voice heard, especially at the ballot box, to ensure that this generation of women is not left with fewer rights than their mothers.

"Let's be clear: today's decision is the direct result of a Republican effort to radicalize our Supreme Court. Now, in decision after decision, a radical right-wing majority of Republican-appointed justices is rewriting history and overturning settled precedents in order to undo hard won progress. In doing so, they have provoked a crisis of legitimacy at the Supreme Court."

By CBSLA Staff

L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer decision 'has made women lesser citizens'

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer echoed the sentiments of many local politicians, calling for Californians to "step up" and support women. His statement read:

"With today's devastating decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has abolished a fundamental right for the first time in history—relegating women, especially women without resources, to the back alley or worse. As the dissent notes, the court majority has made women lesser citizens, subject to the whim of politicians on this most intimate of decisions. And other core rights may soon be on the chopping block.

Women who live in states across the nation that eliminate women's reproductive rights will turn to California, and Los Angeles, for help. We must step up, expanding clinic capacity and finding ways to support women and girls who flee states where abortion is illegal and worry they can never return without confronting legal consequences. 

Those of us who steadfastly support women's reproductive freedom must recommit to doing all we can in this crucial hour."

By CBSLA Staff

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard: 'Decision will not affect abortion access in California'

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard offered a public statement in the wake of the news, which read: 

"There was a time before Roe when women sought out clandestine clinics with unlicensed providers to end an unwanted pregnancy, often resulting in serious complications or death. The decision that the Supreme Court advanced today not only infringes on a women's right to choose but has also created a public health crisis for millions of women across our nation. Today's SCOTUS decision will not affect abortion access in California. In 1969, our highest court recognized abortion rights under our state's constitution, four years before Roe was decided. Our state law protects the right to personal reproductive decisions."

By CBSLA Staff

Congressman Ted Lieu 'deeply distraught' by decision

Congressman Ted Lieu, who represents California's 33rd District, issued the following statement on the Supreme Court's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. 

"I am deeply distraught by today's Supreme Court decision on abortion. It is, unfortunately, exactly as we feared. The Republicans' decades-long war waged in support of forced birth has culminated in this appalling decision. Roe v. Wade was settled law according to the confirmation testimonies of the Justices who just voted to overturn it. These Justices lied to the Senate and the American people to be confirmed. It should come as no surprise that public confidence in the Supreme Court is at its lowest. Conservative justices, who have often decried legislating from the bench, will now impose their radical views on abortion onto the rest of the country.

"Ultimately, this is a personal liberties issue. Some religions support abortion, and some religions oppose abortion. Abortion is a complicated and personal decision. That is exactly why it is wrong for the government to unilaterally make a decision that should rest with the woman, her doctor, her God and her family. The criminalization of abortion, which is what Republicans want, is an attack on bodily autonomy and an attack on an individual's right not to be pregnant."

By CBSLA Staff

Supervisor Janice Hahn: 'This ruling will not end abortion'

"We must ensure that California and pro-choice states across the country continue to be a haven for reproductive rights," Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a series of tweets after the decision was announced. 

By CBSLA Staff

Assemblymember Isaac G. Bryan calls out SCOTUS

A follow-up tweet read, "Why do guns have more rights than women in our country?"

By CBSLA Staff

Mayor Garcetti decries 'shameful decision'

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined 10 other mayors from across the United States, including Mayors Robert Garcia of Long Beach, Todd Gloria of San Diego, Sam Liccardo of San Jose, Vicente Sarmiento of Santa Ana, Libby Schaaf of Oakland and Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento, in joining a coalition to issue a joint statement on the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

The statement read:

"In anticipation of the Supreme Court's expected decision to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent to protect women's fundamental right to control their own bodies and access to abortions in the United States, we as mayors affirm to our constituents and residents that our cities will continue to serve as places where women and all people can make their own reproductive decisions. We commit to using every tool at our disposal as mayors to stand up for women in the face of attempts to deprive them of fundamental rights — and call on our leaders in Congress and our statehouses to reverse the impacts of this decision and protect a woman's right to choose.

Further, the draft opinion overturning Roe opens the door to the repeal of many privacy-based rights that form the basis of our society and underpin the very concept of American liberty. These freedoms, including the freedom to marry the person you love free of discrimination, are under threat with this decision. We cannot allow this egregious attack on the progress our country has made.

Over the last five decades, Roe and Casey have made a profound and positive impact on the lives of millions of women — particularly young and minority women — and their partners. Access to safe and legal abortion has saved countless lives. American women, for the first time, have been able to plan their reproductive, economic, and social lives — leading to tremendous gains in not just health and personal freedom, but equity and quality of life in our communities.  

Put simply: reproductive rights are critical to women's healthcare and self-determination. By denying this fundamental right to the people of the United States, the Court is not only curtailing an essential freedom to American citizens, but they are also imposing a dangerous and failed policy decision upon millions of Americans. An abortion ban will not stop women from seeking this basic health care, but rather make it illegal and less safe. We know that planned pregnancies lead to dramatically better outcomes for mothers, children, and families, and that even the widespread use of contraceptives cannot fully eliminate unintended pregnancies. Nothing less than women's health, safety, and futures are at stake — and we must protect their right to control their own bodies and lives.  

As a result of the Court's decision and the failure of the Women's Health Protection Act, draconian state restrictions are imminent. In our cities, we will take every possible step to support women as they make this deeply personal medical decision. It is our hope that federal and state leaders will continue to fight to codify the protections, rights, and healthcare that generations of American women have rightfully enjoyed since Roe. Until that day, our cities will continue to stand in support of women across this country."

By CBSLA Staff

Governor Gavin Newsom joins Oregon, Washington leaders to form multi-state commitment to protect reproductive freedom

California Governor Gavin Newsom joined Governors Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington in forming a multi-state coalition to protect abortion access and make a commitment to reproductive freedom. 

In a joint statement, they said: 

"The Supreme Court has made it clear – they want to strip women of their liberty and let Republican states replace it with mandated birth because the right to choose an abortion is not 'deeply rooted in history'. They want to turn back the clock to a time when women had no right to make decisions about their own bodies, when women had to seek care in the shadows and at great danger, when women were not treated as equal citizens under the law. This is another devastating step toward erasing the rights and liberties Americans have fought for on battlefields, in courthouses and in capitols. This is not the America we know – and it's not the California way," said Governor Gavin Newsom. "California has banded together with Oregon and Washington to stand up for women, and to protect access to reproductive health care. We will not sit on the sidelines and allow patients who seek reproductive care in our states or the doctors that provide that care to be intimidated with criminal prosecution. We refuse to go back and we will fight like hell to protect our rights and our values." 

"Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn't turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people's lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes," said Governor Kate Brown

. "For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care –– please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over."

"The law remains unchanged in Washington state, but the threat to patient access and privacy has never been more dangerous. Even in Washington state, Republicans have introduced about 40 bills in the past six years to roll back abortion rights and access to reproductive care," said Governor Jay Inslee. "The right of choice should not depend on which party holds the majority, but that's where we find ourselves. More than half the nation's population now lacks safe access to a medical procedure that only a patient and their doctor can and should make for themselves. Instead, law enforcement, vigilantes and judicial systems can force patients to bear the burdens of forced pregnancy and birth. Washington state remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting the ability and right of every patient who comes to our state in need of abortion care, and we will fight like hell to restore that right to patients all across the country."

By CBSLA Staff
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.