Watch CBS News

Roe v. Wade Overturned: Officials In Philadelphia Region React To Supreme Court Ruling Allowing States To Ban Abortion

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Supreme Court's decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade puts the onus on states to decide abortion rights. Elected officials in the Philadelphia region reacted to the news after the ruling came down Friday morning.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf calls Friday "a dark day for reproductive rights in America." But he reminds Pennsylvanians that abortion will remain legal for as long as he is governor.

"I want every Pennsylvanian to know abortion services are available and unarmed by today's ruling. To women and pregnant people in surrounding states and across the country where this isn't the case: You are safe here," Wolf wrote in a tweet.

Wolf then shared this.

"For the last 50 years, it has been an assumption in the United States the person closest to that painful decision is the one who's going to make it -- not a bureaucrat or a politician, not one size fits all legislation," Wolf said.

The ruling puts the issue squarely on the ballot come this November's midterms. It will surely be a hot-button issue in the race for Pennsylvania governor.

The two men vying to serve as the commonwealth's next governor are polar opposites both in how they view Friday's Supreme Court decision and in how they would govern and legislate abortion access.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor, held a virtual press conference following the court's decision.

"A woman's right to choose is now dependent upon what state she lives in," Shapiro said. "Under Pennsylvania state law, I want you to note, abortion remains legal, but our legislature is poised to pass a bill that would outlaw abortion."

Shapiro's opponent, Republican candidate, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, issued a statement that reads, in part, "Roe v. Wade is rightly relegated to the ash heap of history. As the abortion debate returns to the states, Pennsylvania must be prepared to lead the nation in being a voice for the voiceless."

Mastriano is a proud abortion opponent and has a video on his website in which he states that "my body, my choice is ridiculous nonsense."

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey called the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade "a win for the unborn."

"The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization restores the American people's ability to determine abortion laws through their elected representatives, as the Constitution requires. Precedents that are wrongly decided should be overturned, just as Brown v. Board of Education was right to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson. This ruling is a win for the unborn, the Constitution, and democratic governance," Toomey wrote in a tweet.

Fellow Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey stands opposite of Toomey, saying the decision "upends almost a half century of legal precedent and rips away the constitutional right that generations of women have known their entire lives."

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who's running for Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate seat against Mehmet Oz, said there's "too much on the line" for the election in the commonwealth due to Roe v. Wade being overturned.

"In Pennsylvania, the Governor's pen will either protect abortion rights or eliminate them. The stakes can't be any higher."

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tweeted that he's disappointed about the Supreme Court's decision.

"I'm deeply disappointed that SCOTUS has arrived at a decision that will reverse Roe v. Wade and make it even more difficult for people to access an abortion if they make the entirely personal and private decision to seek one," he wrote.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner called on his counterparts across Pennsylvania to vow to protect and support abortion rights after the Supreme Court's decision.

Philadelphia City Councilmember Kendra Brooks and the Pennsylvania Working Families Party released a statement about the ruling that read in part:

"The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade confirms what so many of us already knew, that our fundamental rights are under attack. The right to abortion is one of our most essential freedoms, a right that allows us to govern our bodies and the course of our lives. We know that banning abortion won't stop abortions - but it will significantly limit safe access for those without the resources or means to travel to receive care. Make no mistake - these attacks on abortion rights will disproportionately harm women of color and those struggling to make ends meet. It will limit the autonomy and agency of working class people who already bear the brunt of unaffordable healthcare, underfunded public education, the widespread housing crisis, and our broken social safety net."

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon said the decision is "unprecedented and will have a devastating impact across our country. It is rare in the United States for millions of Americans to wake up with fewer rights than they had the day before, but that is precisely what the Court has done here."

Moving over to the Garden State, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy codified women's reproductive rights into law earlier this year, fearing and anticipating Friday's Supreme Court opinion.

"Today, the United States Supreme Court clarified in no uncertain terms that they do not value the women in our country or their ability to make their own decision about their bodies," Murphy said.

Conversely, state Sen. Ed Durr from Gloucester County was happy with the Supreme Court's ruling.

"Hopefully, this is a measure that can start saving babies' lives," Durr said.

Delaware Gov. John Carney tweeted that a woman's right to choose will be protected in the First State.

"Here in Delaware, a woman's right to choose is protected under the law, as it should be," Carney wrote. "These are deeply personal and private decisions -- decisions that ought to remain in the hands of the women who have to make them."

CBS3's Siafa Lewis contributed to this report.

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.