Region’s leaders react to Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place...
The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.(Joe Ravi / CC BY-SA 3.0)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 10:46 AM EDT
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(WSAZ) - The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement Friday after the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision in Dobbs returning abortion law to the states:

”I applaud the Supreme Court’s courageous decision today. I’ve said many times that I very proudly stand for life and I am rock-solid against abortion, and I believe that every human life is a miracle worth protecting. I will not hesitate to call a special session after consulting with the Legislature and my legal team if clarification in our laws needs to be made.”

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear responded to Friday’s decision on Twitter writing, “Today’s decision triggers an extremist Kentucky law that creates a total ban in Kentucky that will eliminate all options for victims of rape or incest. As the former chief prosecutor of Kentucky, I know that these violent crimes happen, and not having options for victims of rape and incest is wrong.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), released the following statement on the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade:

“I am deeply disappointed that the Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. It has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years and was understood to be settled precedent. I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.

“As a Catholic, I was raised pro-life and will always consider myself pro-life. But I have come to accept that my definition of pro-life may not be someone else’s definition of pro-life. I believe that exceptions should be made in instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. But let me be clear, I support legislation that would codify the rights Roe v. Wade previously protected. I am hopeful Democrats and Republicans will come together to put forward a piece of legislation that would do just that.”

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) released the below statement following the Supreme Court’s decision:

“By overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court has returned this issue to the states to make their own determination. I support this decision, and I would expect West Virginia to support this decision as well. This ruling does not create a federal ban on abortion, as has been suggested by some of my colleagues. Many feel strongly on this issue, but I condemn violent rhetoric and threats towards the Supreme Court Justices. I will continue to oppose extreme legislation at the federal level, and will follow debates in state legislatures, including in West Virginia, on this issue.”

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court:

“The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Dobbs is courageous and correct. This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.

“For 50 years, states have been unable to enact even modest protections for unborn children. More than 90% of Europe restricts abortion on demand after 15 weeks, but every state in America has been forced to allow it more than a month past that, after a baby can feel pain, yawn, stretch, and suck his or her thumb. Judicial activists declared that every state had to handle abortion like China and North Korea and no state could handle it like France or Germany.

“Not anymore. Now the American people get their voice back.

“The Court has corrected a terrible legal and moral error, like when Brown v. Board overruled Plessy v. Ferguson. The Justices applied the Constitution. They carefully weighed the complex factors regarding precedent. The Court overturned mistaken rulings that even liberals have long admitted were incoherent, restoring the separation of powers. I commend the Court for its impartiality in the face of attempted intimidation.

“Democrats’ disgraceful attacks on the Court have echoed Democrats’ outrage at Brown v. Board in 1954. Today’s Democrats are jaw-droppingly extreme on abortion. 97% of Washington Democrats support legislation that would effectively require nine months of abortion on demand until the moment of birth. Only 19% of Americans share this radical view but 97% of Democrats in Congress embrace it. They would rather attack our institutions than let the American people enact the reasonable protections they want.

“Millions of Americans have spent half a century praying, marching, and working toward today’s historic victories for the rule of law and for innocent life. I have been proud to stand with them throughout our long journey and I share their joy today.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade:

“For fifty years, women in America had the right to make their own personal health care decisions. Today, five judges handed that right over to politicians. This will be the first generation of women to grow up with fewer rights and freedoms than their mothers and grandmothers, and this burden will be disproportionately carried by low-income women and women of color. This is a radical decision by an increasingly out-of-touch court, and Americans won’t stand for it. When, how, and whether to have a family is one of the most personal and meaningful decisions we make in life, and the freedom to make those decisions for yourself, free from political interference, should be available to everyone. The president and Congress must take action restoring protections for women to make their own health choices, and women will make their voices heard in voting booths around Ohio and the country this November.”

Kentucky Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman released the following statement Friday on Twitter:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling means that now in Kentucky, a 12-year-old girl who is raped and impregnated by her father, has no options. It is unconscionable that this extreme, total ban provides no exception for that child or any other survivors of rape or incest.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“This decision returns abortion policy to the place it has always belonged: to the elected policy branches of government. Roe was poorly reasoned, a doctrine of shifting sands that invited perpetual litigation. We will continue to debate this issue. But passion is not a license to violence. I call again on my federal colleague, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and my fellow states’ attorneys general to publicly commit to holding violent protesters accountable under the law, no matter which side they are on.”

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“Today is a day that many have hoped for—the issue of abortion has been returned to the people and to the states, where it belongs. This moment deserves to be celebrated, but it also calls for renewed commitment. Renewed commitment to life-affirming care for the unborn, for mothers, and for Kentucky families.

Our General Assembly has already passed laws that protect unborn babies and ensure the health and safety of women. We’ve defended many of these pro-life laws in court, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey prevented some from taking effect. That changes today.

We are entering a new era. No longer will unelected judges make abortion policy for the Commonwealth. Instead, our elected representatives will be able to make public policy that reflects the values of Kentuckians and our deeply held respect for unborn life.

Together, we must commit ourselves to caring for the next generation of Kentuckians who will now have a chance to live their lives because Roe v. Wade is no more. Their lives, and those of their mothers and families, are precious and must be met with all the compassion, kindness, and care that we can provide.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued the following statement Friday:

“This historic decision is long past due, although it took nearly 50 years to overturn several flawed Supreme Court decisions that have led to the tragic deaths of more than 60 million unborn children,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I am proud to stand with those who agree that the law must afford the unborn the same rights as everyone, most especially the inviolable right to life. Our Constitution should never have been interpreted in a way that lets it override the states’ compelling interest to protect innocent life.”

“In the next few days, I will be providing a legal opinion to the Legislature about how it should proceed to save as many babies’ lives as humanly and legally possible,” Attorney General Morrisey added.

The law at the center of the Dobbs case was a Mississippi statute prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In July 2021, Attorney General Morrisey joined a 24-state brief supporting life in the Dobbs case. The brief urged the Supreme Court to support the right of individual states to regulate abortion and promote the sanctity of life within their borders.”

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams issued the following statement:

“Today, the Supreme Court returned the right of self-government to the States and to the People, as contemplated by the Constitution. In Kentucky this fall, our people will have the opportunity to express their view on this issue, via Constitutional Amendment Two.

The Court’s decision follows a half-century of hard and diligent work by people of faith, elected officials, attorneys, and activists. As abortion will remain legal in many states, including at least one of our neighboring states, that hard and diligent work must continue, in a different form: ensuring adequate support – financial and emotional – of those facing this difficult choice.”

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade:

“I applaud the Supreme Court for following the rule of law and taking historic action that will help preserve the sanctity of life in America. The original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 has resulted in approximately 63 million abortions - a moral injustice and heartbreaking loss of innocent lives nationwide. This monumental decision restores regulatory power to each state. It immediately blocks all access to abortion in states, like Kentucky, where trigger laws were enacted to put the Supreme Court’s ruling into effect simultaneously.

“Make no mistake, the Biden Administration and Washington liberals are eager to remove long-standing pro-life protections through other measures, like stripping the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment from appropriations bills that prohibit tax payer dollars from being used for abortions in the United States and overseas. I will continue to fight to preserve those critical bipartisan protections, as we celebrate this great victory in the Supreme Court.”

U.S. Representative Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after the Supreme Court voted 6-3 to uphold Mississippi’s ban on nearly all abortions after 15 weeks:

“Today marks a landmark and historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of life. It’s a great day!

After oral arguments concluded last December, it was fairly clear that several justices had significant concerns with the legal foundations Roe and Casey rested on.

But now, finally, 2022 is the year that the extraordinarily divisive issue of abortion is removed from the unelected federal judiciary and returned to the citizens of each state to decide for themselves through their state legislatures. And that’s as it should be.

I hope Ohio now follows suit with a similar law to the one enacted and upheld in Mississippi.  Liberal states, like California and New York, will likely vote to become hubs for abortion.  And while I would vehemently disagree with their decision, it would be up to the voters in those states. And that’s the point: today’s Supreme Court decision, authored by Justice Alito, rightfully allows states to make their own decisions; it does not ban abortion. But today marks an important return to the federalism on which our Constitution is based.

Today is unquestionably a huge win for the pro-life community. Those who’ve worked so hard for nearly five decades fighting to recognize and protect the life of the unborn - the most vulnerable and innocent among us - have reason to rejoice. However, pro-life Americans must continue to stand up and speak out for the sanctity of life.”

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For previous coverage:

W.Va. advocates weigh impact of abortion ruling

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