Heartland lawmakers respond after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Lawmakers in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky spoke out on Friday,...
Lawmakers in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky spoke out on Friday, June 24 following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.(Source: MGN)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 12:02 PM CDT
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(KFVS) - Lawmakers in southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky spoke out on Friday, June 24 following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court has ended the nation’s 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.

Missouri

Governor Mike Parson signed a proclamation Friday morning ending elective abortions in Missouri.

“Nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the United States Constitution gave un-elected federal judges authority to regulate abortion. We are happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions,” Governor Parson said.

“With Roe v. Wade overturned and statutory triggers provided in HB 126, we are issuing this proclamation to restore our state authority to regulate abortion and protect life. Thanks to decades of conservative leaders, Missouri has become one of the most pro-life states in the nation, and our Administration has always fought for the life of every unborn child. Today, our efforts have produced what generations of Missourians have worked and prayed for: Today, we have won our fight to protect innocent life,” he continued.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that the Show-Me State was the first in the country to “effectively end abortion.”

“Today, following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, with the issuance of an attorney general opinion, my Office has yet again reinforced Missouri’s dedication to protecting the sanctity of life, both born and unborn. With this attorney general opinion, my Office has effectively ended abortion in Missouri, becoming the first state in the country to do so following the Court’s ruling,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “My Office has been fighting to uphold the sanctity of life since I became attorney general, culminating in today’s momentous court ruling and attorney general opinion. I will continue the fight to protect all life, born and unborn.”

The attorney general signed an opinion minutes after the Supreme Court of the United States ruling.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley tweeted his statement following the ruling.

Congressman Billy Long, with Missouri’s 7th District, issued the following statement:

“Today, the Supreme Court made the right decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health,” Congressman Long said. “Six justices correctly overturned one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history. Roe v. Wade has no basis in Constitutional law, and forced the states to accept the barbaric practice of abortion. I’ve never understand how a civilized society could possibly condone the killing of an innocent child in their mother’s womb. This is simply unconscionable to me and was for 49 years.

I am thrilled the State of Missouri has now outlawed all abortions in the state, in accordance with our “Trigger Law” to ban abortion immediately after Roe was overturned. Now I hope that we never look back.”

Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker called on a special session for reproductive health rights in Illinois on Friday, June 24.

“In Illinois, we trust women. Despite the action of the Supreme Court today overturning Roe v. Wade, the right to safe, accessible reproductive health care is in full force in Illinois – and will remain so.

“In Illinois, we’ve planned for this terrible day, an enormous step backward and a shattering loss of rights. We passed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining choice as the law of the land in Illinois. We removed the trigger law that would have prohibited abortion in Illinois with the overturning of Roe v Wade. We expanded health care so that finances are not a barrier to receiving reproductive care.

“In Illinois, we are a state committed to expanding access to reproductive health care including abortion care, contraception access, fertility treatment and gender affirming care. We’ve made it clear that we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves about their own reproductive health.

“In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders to expand them. To that end, I am calling the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks, with the support and consultation of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. Together, we are committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.”

Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued this statement:

“I am extremely disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision, which jeopardizes the health, the safety and the lives of millions of women in the United States – especially those who already have the least access to health care and other resources. This single decision rolls back 50 years of court precedent and with it, decades of progress toward reproductive autonomy. Contrary to the rhetoric used by some, make no mistake: This decision will not end abortion. What it will do is end access to safe abortions for many women throughout the country.

“In anticipation of the court’s decision, dozens of states have taken draconian steps to restrict access to or criminalize abortion. While some women living in those states could decide to seek legal abortions in other states like Illinois, the option of traveling great distances for potentially lifesaving abortion care may not be available to low-income women or victims of abuse. By revoking a woman’s right to reproductive choice, the court now leaves too many women faced with making unimaginable decisions.

“As I assured Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday at a White House roundtable on reproductive health, Illinois has been and will continue to be a proud reproductive health care oasis where women have the right to make their own highly-personal reproductive health decisions with their families and medical professionals. In light of today’s decision, I encourage people to review guidance my office issued to ensure reproductive rights are protected in Illinois, and I am reminding law enforcement that abortion is legal in Illinois – regardless of today’s decision.

“As we prepare for an influx of women from neighboring states to seek abortion services in Illinois, my office is actively working with the governor’s office and Legislature to address concerns triggered by the court’s decision. Specifically, we must expand safeguards under state law to ensure that women and providers are protected from those who would use this decision to obstruct access to abortion care.

“Today is a sad day in the history of the Supreme Court and our nation. However, this wrong-sided decision does nothing to alter my commitment to enforcing the reproductive health protections already enshrined in Illinois law, working with Illinois policymakers to expand protections under state law, and continuing to urge Congress to codify reproductive health care rights in federal law.”

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released this statement:

“Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.

“The bottom line: on critical, personal choices involving a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions about her own body, do you trust her or the government? The Supreme Court now says a woman’s right to privacy does not extend to the most personal, private choice she will ever face.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee will explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America in a hearing next month. The Court’s decision to erase the right to access an abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care services, but also criminal consequences for women and health care providers in states eager to embrace draconian restrictions. I will keep fighting to enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. We cannot let our children inherit a nation that is less free and more dangerous than the one their parents grew up in.”

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued this statement:

“I am outraged and horrified—this outcome is a nightmare that robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades. Millions of American families—including my own—have relied on Roe v. Wade for almost 50 years, and 70% of Americans believe it should remain the law of the land. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Justices who claimed Roe was ‘settled law,’ but then turned around and ruled otherwise, will—as Justice Sotomayor said—'struggle to survive the stench’ of this extreme decision.

“In a nation with a growing maternal mortality crisis and often inaccessible healthcare, without affordable child care or universal paid leave, forcing births on anyone—even when the mother’s life could be at risk—is not only cruel, it will also be deadly. Doctors working in states where abortion, or even management of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, is outlawed could even be threatened with prison for daring to save a patient’s life. Victims of rape could be forced to relive their trauma every day.

“I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had. As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Illinois remains a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive care. It is as important as ever that the Senate acts to codify Roe v. Wade into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income.”

State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement:

“As a pro-life legislator, I am pleased to see the United States Supreme Court’s decision to vacate Roe v. Wade and finally return the issue of abortion back to elected officials and the people they represent. I have always strongly felt that the original decision in 1973 was incorrectly made, which has led to the heartbreaking end of innocent life for five decades.

“It is clear that the Democrats in this state will now use this decision as means to ram through even more aggressive and unpopular abortions laws than the ones they have already put in place. Roughly an hour after this decision was released our Governor is already calling for a special session to deal with the impact of the ruling, even though he knows it doesn’t change anything in our state.

“Despite what Gov. Pritzker and his Democrat allies tell you, this decision does not impact the radical abortion laws in Illinois. This decision will not end taxpayer-funded and late-term abortions. It will not prevent a minor to undergo a surgical procedure without their parents’ knowledge despite how unpopular that practice is with the people of our state.

“Those claiming otherwise are being disingenuous and trying to shift the narrative for political purposes.”

U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) released the following statement:

“The issue of life is one that’s very personal to my wife, Tracy, and me; it’s the reason we got involved in politics nearly 40 years ago. I agree wholeheartedly with the Supreme Court’s decision to restore power to the American people to determine for themselves how abortion services are regulated in their state. It’s a historic decision that will help save the lives of countless innocent unborn children. As liberals in Illinois and Washington undoubtedly push forward with their abortion on-demand agenda, I’ll keep fighting to protect the lives of the unborn.”

State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) issued this statement:

“Today’s historic decision by the United States Supreme Court corrects a 50-year-old mistake that took away a state’s ability to regulate abortion. I am a pro-life legislator, a conservative Republican, a husband, father, and grandfather. I’m the only physician of any kind serving in the General Assembly. I have dedicated my life to improving the quality of life of other people. I strongly value life and the protection of unborn children.

“Progressive Democrat politicians currently running Illinois have enacted laws that make Illinois an abortion destination state where someone can have an abortion paid for by the taxpayer for any reason at any time of pregnancy up to and including birth. I find these policies to be extreme and offensive. I will continue my efforts to repeal these irresponsible laws, and return legal protection to the unborn that has been denied to them through Governor Pritzker and leftist Democrats’ radical policy decisions.

“In the race for 118th district State Representative, I am proudly endorsed by the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, Illinois Citizens for Life, and Illinois Family Action. These endorsements reflect my firm commitment to protecting unborn children. When I am re-elected, I will continue these efforts in earnest.”

State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) issued the following statement:

“As a pro-life legislator, I rejoice at today’s landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. This decision means states can now afford legal protection to unborn children where it was not possible before. “As State Representative, I have sponsored or co-sponsored several measures that would protect the unborn, including legislation to ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected, ban abortion beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy, and end taxpayer funding for abortions. Unfortunately, Illinois remains a state with extreme and expansive abortion access laws. I have never voted to expand abortion access, and have voted against all measures that extend taxpayer funding for abortion services.

“In the race for 117th district State Representative, I am the only candidate endorsed by the Illinois Federation for Right to Life, Illinois Citizens for Life, and Illinois Family Action. These pro-life advocates work tirelessly to promote policies that protect the unborn. I am proud to have these endorsements, especially in light of today’s historic decision. I remain firmly committed to working to overturn extreme abortion policies and to restoring the rights of the unborn in Illinois.”

State Senator Darren Bailey (R-IL) released the following statement:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a historic and welcomed moment. Unfortunately, billionaire J.B. Pritzker is an abortion extremist, out of touch with the overwhelming majority of Illinoisans. He continues to push a radical agenda from taxpayer-funded abortion, late-term elective abortions and removing parental notification.

“The fact J.B. Pritzker advocated for and signed legislation to allow a 12-year-old to get an abortion without their parents knowing is egregious. As I have consistently stated for several months, as Governor, I will work to remove taxpayer-funded abortion and restore parental notification in Illinois.

“I will also work with the legislature, civic groups, and nonprofits to support women during and after pregnancy, to make adoption easier, and abortion unnecessary.”

State Rep. Dave Severin issued the following statement:

“I am personally pro-life and have a record of supporting and sponsoring legislation that seeks to protect the unborn. I am heartened by today’s decision and believe this is the right path forward for protecting the sanctity of life.

“Unfortunately in Illinois, not much will change at this time despite my best efforts and the efforts of my pro-life colleagues. Illinois is led by Democratic politicians that favor zero restrictions on abortions, which makes their governing philosophy out of step with the average person.

As Governor Pritzker calls legislators back to Springfield for a special session, my constituents should know that I will stand strong against further attempts to expand taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. I will maintain my 100% pro-life voting record.”

Kentucky

Governor Andy Beshear posted this statement on Facebook:

“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. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued this statement:

“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.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron released this statement:

“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.”

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