Local Reaction to U.S. Supreme Court's Overturning Roe v. Wade

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Photo courtesy of Gabriel D. On November 3, 2020, a pro-life group demonstrates outside a polling location in Dedham on Election Day.

Upon learning of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case in which the High Court overturned Roe v. Wade and determined that abortion is not a right granted by the federal Constitution but is an issue properly raised before the states, Westwood Minute caught up with Westwood resident Gabriel D. Gabriel is a pro-life activist. He agreed to an interview for a Westwood Minute story about a pro-life demonstration being held on High Street last fall.

Here's what Gabriel had to say:

"The Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson is a great victory, both for the protection of innocent lives and for our Constitutional order. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, over 63 million unborn babies have been killed in this country by abortion. The denial of legal protection to children in the womb is a stain upon our nation and contradicts the fundamental principle that all people are created equal and have an inalienable right to Life."

"While this decision is a very positive step, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the protection of human life from abortion. The Dobbs decision simply makes abortion bans possible, but now it's up to voters and their elected representatives to push for pro-life policies. In Massachusetts, this will require an enormous amount of hard work, patience, and perseverance. However, over time I believe that we can change hearts and minds so that people see unborn children as human beings worth protecting."

While Gabriel's point of view is certainly shared by many, it is also most certainly the opposite of what many other Massachusetts residents believe, along with the state's top law enforcer within Massachusetts courts.  On Monday, June 27, 2022, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a joint statement along with twenty-two state attorneys general who reaffirmed their commitment to support and expand access to abortion. The multistate coalition had filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in September 2021 in the Dobbs case. The joint statement reads:

“Abortion care is healthcare. Period. We stand together, as our states’ chief law officers, to proudly say that we will not back down in the fight to protect the rights of pregnant people in our states and across the country. While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reverses nearly half a century of legal precedent and undermines the rights of people across the United States, we’re joining together to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care nationwide.

“While this is a perilous moment for our nation, it is a moment that calls for action. Our promise to our residents is simple: We’ll never stop defending your rights. Regardless of the decision in Dobbs, broad access to abortion remains protected in states that recognize reproductive freedom, such as ours. We refuse to go back to the days of politicians trying to tell people what to do with their bodies. When it comes to abortion care, it’s your body and your right to choose. Nobody else gets to make those decisions.

“For generations, Americans have relied on the existence of a constitutional right to abortion to make deeply personal decisions about their lives, their futures, and their families. As a result of the decision in Dobbs, people across the nation are now confronted with the prospect of having to travel from their homes to our states to seek access to the fundamental healthcare to which they should be entitled. For those unable to make the journey, laws banning abortion in their home states will lead to poorer health outcomes and reduced socioeconomic opportunities. Those harms will fall disproportionately on people of color and people with fewer resources, further perpetuating our nation’s historical inequities.

“Ultimately, what harms people in some states harms us all. The future and well-being of our nation is intrinsically tied to the ability of our residents to exercise their fundamental rights, including the right to liberty, privacy, and access to abortion care. If you seek access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, we’re committed to using the full force of the law to support you. You have our word. We will continue to use all legal tools at our disposal to fight for your rights and stand up for our laws. We will support our partners and service providers. Together, we will persist.”

The other state attorneys generals joining AG Healey in the statement were from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Thanks to Gabriel D. for sharing his perspective with Westwood Minute.


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