The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights won through the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision Friday was met with outrage and disgust among New York elected officials.
In a statement, Governor Kathy Hochul – who’s been speaking about how New York will weather the impending decision since a draft majority opinion written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito was leaked last month – called the decision a “grave injustice”and said the court took away millions of women’s right to make decisions about their own bodies.
“The right to reproductive healthcare is a fundamental human right. History shows us that when abortion is banned, abortion becomes unsafe for women. Low-income individuals and people of color will be harmed the most,” Hochul said. “New York has always been a beacon for those yearning to be free. Our state will always be a safe harbor for those seeking access to abortion care. To anyone who is working to deny abortion access, our message is clear: not here, not now, not ever.”
The 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the court upheld a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. The court’s six conservative justices led by Alito – Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts – voted in favor of the ruling. While its three liberal justices – Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer – dissent.
The governor also highlighted a $35 million allocation she made last month following the leaked draft opinion to give reproductive health centers state-wide additional resources to handle a likely wave of individuals from states that have or will ban abortion seeking the procedures here. Abortion rights were codified in the New York state constituion through the 2019 New York Reproductive Health Act.
Hochul also pointed to a package of legislation that includes a laws that protect abortion providers from arrest and extradition to other states for performing the procedures and allow people to sue for unlawful interference with their right to an abortion.
“I want everyone to know that abortion remains safe, accessible, and legal in New York. Just last month, in anticipation of this decision, I made an historic $35 million investment to support our state’s network of abortion providers,” Hochul said. “Last week, thanks to the partnership of Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie, I signed a landmark, nation-leading package of legislation that further protects the rights of patients and empowers reproductive healthcare providers.”
State Attorney General Letitia called the ruling a “vicious, dangerous, and deliberate attack” on people’s basic human rights, in a statement. And she reaffirmed that New York will be a “safe haven” for those seeking an abortion and said that she continue to fight to secure the right to an abortion for those seeking them in New York from out-of-state.
“Every single person in this country should have the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies. But make no mistake,” James said. “We will not go back to the inhumane and restrictive pre-Roe era. Regardless of the situation at the national level, New York will always be a safe haven for anyone seeking an abortion. I will work tirelessly to ensure that low-income New Yorkers and people from hostile states have access to the care they need and deserve. I will always fight to protect our right to make decisions about our own bodies and expand access to this critical and lifesaving care.”
Mayor Eric Adams said both Friday’s ruling and the court’s Thursday decision to strike down a New York law that greatly restricted who could obtain concealed carry permits in the state, show “politics came before people at the highest court in the land.”
“What the court has done today ignores the opinions of the majority of Americans, as it helps states control women’s bodies, their choices, and their freedoms,” Adams said. In a statement. “There is nothing to call this Supreme Court opinion but an affront to basic human rights and one that aims to shackle women and others in reproductive bondage. Reproductive care is health care, but, put simply, this decision puts lives at risk.”
Adams also reiterated that abortions will continue to be legal in the city and welcomed those seeking abortions from places where they’re no longer accessible.
“To all New Yorkers: I want to say that they can still access safe, legal abortions here in New York City,” Adams said. “And to those seeking abortions around the country: Know that you are welcome here and that we will make every effort to ensure our reproductive services are available and readily accessible to you.”