Today is a dark day in American history. This morning, the Supreme Court announced that it has overturned Roe v. Wade, the law that has protected the rights of women for nearly 50 years. For millions of women in states across the country, today’s decision effectively strips away their right to make their own decisions about their healthcare and their own futures. Instead, the Supreme Court has decided that state politicians and judges are better positioned to make these decisions for women – often without any information about the circumstances a woman is facing.
I reject the implication that women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions, and I certainly reject the suggestion that state governments should make decisions for them. I am incensed by the Court’s ruling.
The implications of this decision from the Supreme Court are staggering. With Roe overturned, the number of pregnancy-related deaths in the US will surely increase, and the burden will almost certainly fall most heavily on poor women and women of color. For a nation that already has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, we’re moving in the wrong direction. The tragic irony, of course, is that this Supreme Court decision will not end abortion. For millions of women, it will only end access to safe abortions.
Let’s be clear: this shouldn’t be a decision made by politicians. It should remain between a woman and her doctor. I wholeheartedly believe that my role of a Member of Congress and that of every government leader should be to do whatever we can to ensure that women can have these important — and often incredibly challenging — conversations without politicians interfering.
Those who live in Maryland are fortunate that a large majority of our voters – and of our state legislators – have ensured that women in our state will retain the right to choose despite this decision. But we need to help the women who live in states where that right will vanish now or in the coming days because their legislatures do not share our commitment to equality, to allow women to have the same rights as men to make decisions about their health and their own futures. We need to do everything we can to help defeat legislators and governors in states where the right is threatened.
There is more we can do. The quickest remedy to this shameful decision is to codify Roe v. Wade at the federal level. I and a majority of my House colleagues have passed this, and President Biden has said he will sign such a bill into law. Unfortunately, we do not have the support we need in the Senate. Every single Republican Senator, and even some Democrats, will not support this necessary step to protect the rights of women throughout the country. Let’s vote them out. Let’s organize now and expand our majorities in the House and the Senate. Let’s show Republicans that we’re not going to stand aside as they strip away the rights of Americans.