Maine Leaders Respond to Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Roe v. Wade
Maine political leaders issued immediate responses Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling to end constitutional protections for women to secure a safe and legal abortion.
Roe v. Wade guided the law of the land for nearly 50 years until it was overturned by the high court’s newly established conservative majority.
Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who voted to install Conservative Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch after they assured her that Roe v. Wade was "settled law," responded to the Supreme Court ruling with these words:
“The Supreme Court has abandoned a fifty-year precedent at a time that the country is desperate for stability. This ill-considered action will further divide the country at a moment when, more than ever in modern times, we need the Court to show both consistency and restraint. Throwing out a precedent overnight that the country has relied upon for half a century is not conservative. It is a sudden and radical jolt to the country that will lead to political chaos, anger, and a further loss of confidence in our government."
Independent U.S. Senator Angus King issued a statement saying:
“Today’s decision to overturn nearly half a century of precedent upon precedent is a dangerous, blatantly political ruling that will rob millions of women of the fundamental right to make decisions about their own health, safety, and lives. The right to a safe, legal abortion has been reaffirmed by the Court time and time again – but this new majority has decided to overwrite longstanding precedent to impose their own personal and religious views on women across the country. This ruling goes against the wishes of the majority of Americans, and lays a terrifying groundwork for this Court to unravel many other hard-earned civil rights in the years ahead.”
Democratic Maine Governor Janet reacted in kind, with this brief statement:
“This decision is a fundamental assault on women’s rights and on reproductive freedom that will do nothing to stop abortion. In fact, it will only make abortion less safe and jeopardize the lives of women across the nation. In Maine, I will defend the right to reproductive health care with everything I have, and I pledge to the people of Maine that, so long as I am Governor, my veto pen will stand in the way of any effort to undermine, rollback, or outright eliminate the right to safe and legal abortion in Maine.”
Maine Senate President Troy Jackson’s issued this response to the court's ruling:
“Unfortunately, today’s devastating decision made by a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to restrict the right to an abortion and erode almost 50 years of precedent does not come as a shock. However, that doesn’t make this reality any easier to swallow nor does it do much to alleviate the fear that millions of Mainers and Americans are experiencing. The right to decide if and when to start a family is fundamental to who we are as Americans and our freedom. It’s a deeply personal decision that should not be made by politicians or justices. In the wake of this decision, please know that Maine Senate Democrats will fight back against efforts to undermine abortion rights and stand united for reproductive freedom.”
U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine sent out this strongly-worded statement:
“Today’s catastrophic ruling is the culmination of a decades-long effort by Republican extremists to install anti-choice justices on a High Court that routinely overrules Congress and the public’s will with impunity. Enabled by Senate Republicans, this shamefully partisan Supreme Court has decided against the more than 70% of Americans who want Roe v. Wade upheld. Government control of reproduction is downright totalitarian. It is never in the best interest of society for politicians to decide when a person must give birth. Today’s ruling is rooted in ideological zealotry, not the common good. As a direct result of this decision, women will now be jailed for seeking abortion care while others will die because of pregnancy complications and unsafe self-abortion treatments.”
The Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 was made during a Republican presidency (Richard Nixon). Six of the seven justices in the Court's 7-2 majority decision at the time were Republican appointees.
According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., the abortion rate in the U.S. in recent years has been lower than it was prior to Roe v. Wade,