Congresswoman Scanlon Reacts to Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

The Court’s Decision Overturns Precedent Set in Landmark Abortion Rights Cases: Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) today issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health:

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health 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. 

“For years, reproductive health care advocates were mocked for sounding the alarm about abortion rights. We were told Roe and Casey were settled law — today’s decision makes clear we were justified in our concern. Women are now facing the greatest threat to our reproductive freedom we’ve seen in half a century.

“It’s not just women of child-bearing age who will be impacted by this misguided, dangerous decision. It will hurt women of all ages, transgender and non-binary individuals, family units of all shapes and sizes, and ultimately, entire communities. This decision will impact health care rights far beyond the decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy, including contraception, in vitro fertilization, and non-reproductive health care. By far, the greatest burden of this decision will fall upon those who aren’t white, wealthy, and well-connected. The policies advocated by right-wing extremists are already spreading across the country and have been particularly harmful to Black and brown women, our LGBTQ neighbors, and low-income families. 

“While radical politicians claim that restricting abortion access is about the sanctity of life, the reality is it’s about power and control. Aided by conservatives on the Supreme Court, the far right is well on its way to taking away our ability to control our bodies, our work, our reproductive health, and our finances — for ourselves and our families. They’re mandating their religious and social views for every American, taking away our power to make decisions about our bodies, our families, and our futures based on our own personal values, medical needs, and financial realities.

“The fall of Roe makes government-mandated pregnancy a reality, and the policy implications of states banning abortions or severely restricting access in the wake of this decision do not stop there. If the state can force someone to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth, where does government control over each of us and our bodies end? States across the country have already proven themselves willing to enact draconian laws that further strip women of the basic right to decide if, when, and how to start a family by banning IUDs, the morning-after pill, and other forms of birth control. The reasoning presented in the majority’s opinion in Dobbs also raises serious concerns about which fundamental rights based on personal privacy will be the next targets of the radical right, including contraception, same-sex marriage, and interracial marriage.

“Like many of my constituents — and the majority of Americans who support our freedom to make our own decisions about our health and our bodies — I am worried. But I’m not giving up because the stakes are too high. 

“With existing trigger bans in 13 states and more than a dozen others ready to move quickly to ban abortion, an estimated 36 million women of reproductive age would be impacted immediately. But it doesn't stop there. Right now, abortion remains legal in Pennsylvania up to the 24th week of pregnancy. And while it is some consolation that our commonwealth has a governor who will continue to veto abortion restrictions while he remains in office, Pennsylvanians will be impacted and will have challenges accessing care as people across the country seek increasingly limited resources. 

“Overturning Roe goes against the will of the American people, and we will fight back — in our legislatures and at the ballot box. We need federal legislation to protect the freedom to choose and ensure everyone who needs an abortion or other reproductive health care can receive it. We are facing a generational threat to reproductive freedom as politicians move state by state to restrict abortion access with the ultimate goal of instituting a nationwide ban — something that Republican leaders in Congress have already said is up for consideration if they regain control. We cannot let that happen. Congress must act immediately to protect abortion rights for all Americans.”


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