On Friday, June 24, the movement for choice and freedom has been dealt a destructive blow. The overturning of Roe v. Wade means the dismantling of a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and the ending of a nearly 50-year constitutional right. This decision ends essential health care and moves toward criminalization for millions.
This Supreme Court, like the Republican Party who confirmed them, is out of step with the will of the people. Sen. McConnell has made it very clear that a national abortion ban was possible, and called Friday’s decision ‘courageous and correct.’
EMILY’s List has been sounding the alarm for years, and we are not surprised by Friday’s decision. However, we are ready for the fight of our lives.
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As I reflect on this dark day and watch federal protections fall in the hands of the states, my charge and the mission of EMILY’s List is clearer than ever before, and it must be a shared vision in order to work. We MUST elect Democratic pro-choice women, especially at the state and local level.
In states like New York and Michigan, it is Democratic pro-choice women who are working overtime to protect the rights of women.
To prepare for the surge of women who will likely come to New York to seek an abortion, New York Attorney General Letitia James, has worked to establish a state fund to pay abortion providers and offset costs for low-income and uninsured or underinsured abortion patients; making New York a safe haven to those who are seeking access to care.
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In Michigan, even before this decision, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a lawsuit seeking to keep abortion legal in her state in case this day ever came. On Friday she reaffirmed her commitment saying that she will “fight like hell to protect every Michigander’s right to make decisions about their own body with the advice of a medical professional they trust.”
And for those who believe their votes don’t matter, I would point them to states like Nevada and Colorado and New Mexico, where electing enough Democratic pro-choice women to the state legislature meant protecting abortion rather than rolling back our rights.
Elected Democratic pro-choice women also are using their lived experience to speak for the millions who are voiceless in this moment.
Throughout the day, I’ve been in awe of elected officials like Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., who has continued to share her abortion story to show the human impact that this decision will have on people all over this country.
Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., who in 2020 defeated one of the last anti-choice Democrats, recently shared her abortion story. She felt compelled to do so after the leaked draft opinion.
Democratic pro-choice women elected at the state and local level are doing the same.
Rochelle Garza is running for attorney general in Texas. Garza sued the Trump administration in 2017 on behalf of an undocumented teenager who was seeking access to an abortion.
Our vote is our voice. In November, in states all over the country, abortion will be on the ballot and we need to vote like it.
These women are taking their deeply personal lived experiences, their histories of fighting for the rights of others and bringing them to the halls of power. They are literally putting themselves on the line.
It is elected officials with that kind of courage who I want to represent me and my daughter.
Friday, June 24 has made one thing clear to me – Republicans won’t stop with this extremism, so we cannot stop fighting. Our vote is our voice. In November, in states all over the country, abortion will be on the ballot and we need to vote like it.
Friday was the decision day that my team and I have been preparing for since before the draft opinion was leaked in May.
I am sad and angry, but we are ready. If you’re reading this and you feel like the majority of Americans, then you know that electing Democratic pro-choice women where you live will be your first line of defense.
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