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Beyer Statement On Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe V. Wade

Rep. Don Beyer said the following after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday:

“This ruling from a right-wing Supreme Court majority is a dark moment for America. These conservative justices abandoned 50 years of precedent in a decision which, as Justice Breyer’s dissent put it, ‘says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of.’

“Republicans immediately reacted to this decision by criminalizing essential health care for women in states and introducing laws to ban abortion at the federal level. In some states, laws already triggered by this ruling will force birth in cases of rape or incest. In Virginia, the Republican Governor and Republicans in the closely divided General Assembly signaled that they too will seek to sharply limit bodily autonomy. We now face an assault on basic human rights here in our Commonwealth.

“Criminalizing basic health and reproductive care will have enormous human impacts across this country, and forced birth laws will also do tremendous damage to personal and economic freedom, particularly on low income families and families in rural areas.

“The broader implications of this ruling are profound and terrifying. Justice Alito wrote that the decision would threaten ‘no other right,’ but this prediction was immediately undercut by Justice Thomas, who wrote a concurring opinion which said that, using this ruling as precedent, the Court should revisit rulings that protect same-sex relationships, marriage equality, and contraception.

“This ruling cannot and will not be the last word — we will fight for bodily autonomy and freedom. The House voted to codify Roe v Wade protections in September, the most important and effective step Congress can take. The Senate must recognize that protecting essential health care matters so much more than arcane procedural rules, and do what it takes to protect abortion rights, including changing filibuster rules if necessary and reforming the Supreme Court.

“I have heard already from so many constituents in Northern Virginia who are deeply upset about this; to them and to everyone across the country who is concerned and speaking out: I support you, I am with you, and I will do all I can to help with my voice and my vote.”

Beyer voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify Roe v. Wade protections when the House passed the bill in September. He is the co-author of the Supreme Court Term Limits Act and a cosponsor of the Judiciary Act.