Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., on Friday, July 29, joined a chorus of abortion rights advocates, leaders and workers from the Los Angeles area in defense of a “fundamental right” he said must be protected in the wake of U.S. . Supreme Court decision last month annulling the historical case that once enshrined that right.
“In California, we believe that access to abortion is a fundamental right,” said Padilla, who was joined by Sue Dunlap, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, and Celinda Vasquez, external director of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.
Padilla toured Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’ headquarters on 30th Street, meeting with advocates, employees and volunteers. But it was a walk that occurred after the historic majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Women’s Health Organization Dobbs v. Jacksonthat overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade and 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions
Roe and Casey had defended the right to abortion, protected by the United States Constitution. But in Dobbs, the Court left the decision on the legality of abortion up to individual state legislatures, fracturing nearly 50 years of what many thought was settled law.
But Padilla, a member of the Senate Judiciary Commission – in charge of advancing, or not, the candidates for the federal bench – echoed an important rejection of the decision.
“The right to abortion and the right to reproductive care services should not depend on the state you live in,” he said. “Your rights, your access, should not end at the state border. It shouldn’t depend on your income level, what kind of transportation you may or may not have, or whether you can stop working or not.”
Since the June 24 Dobbs decision, 12 Republican-majority states have placed near-total or six-week bans on abortion. Eventually, half of US states are expected to ban or severely restrict the procedure, according to the Associated Press.
The decision by the court’s conservative majority led roughly a dozen states to close or severely restrict abortions within days. Eventually, half of the states in the United States are expected to ban or severely restrict the procedure.
It also led to significant changes in other types of medical care, with some doctors refusing immediate treatment for serious health problems related to reproductive care for fear of running afoul of strict abortion bans.
Despite this, on June 24, Governor Gavin Newsom reaffirmed the right to an abortion in California by signing AB 1666, which protects California residents from civil liability for “providing, assisting or receiving” abortions or reproductive care in the state. Abortion is legal in California until viability, generally considered to be about 24 weeks.
However, abortion rights activists criticized congressional Democrats for failing to enshrine abortion rights in federal law when given the chance during the Clinton and Obama presidencies.
President Joe Biden said he cannot, on his own, restore access to abortion across the country. He called on voters to elect enough Democrats to Congress this fall who could then vote to codify Roe v. rights. Wade. But his administration has come under significant pressure from advocacy groups to use its executive powers, including declaring a public health emergency on abortion.
That didn’t stop local leaders from encouraging Padilla to stand up for reproductive rights.
“I’m very grateful to Sen. Padilla for his leadership as an elected official, even as we’re in this moment where we’re seeing nothing short of cruel laws being enacted across the country,” said Dunlap, who was named CEO of Planned Parenthood in 2014. “This it’s a horrible time in our history. It’s a crucial time when it comes to people experiencing pregnancy and reproductive health, which frankly we all are in one way or another. And at the same time, I’m very grateful for those who are showing up and are in this fight until we not only get back the protections of Roe v. Wade, but we build on that and do more for all the communities we serve. “.
Padilla is a co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which guarantees the right to access abortion services in the United States. He also introduced the Health Care Travel Freedom Act of 2022, which prohibits states with an abortion ban from limiting travel for the purpose of obtaining abortion services.
Some Republicans in Congress are pushing for a nationwide abortion ban at 15 weeks through a reintroduction of the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which currently says a 20-week abortion ban.
And despite polls showing a majority of Americans back a federal right, many top Republicans have been eager to lean on the fight against abortion rights, seeing overturning Roe as a promise they’ve kept with voters.
Senate Minority Leader suggested Mitch McConnell even before the Supreme Court’s ruling that a future nationwide ban was “possible.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence said after the ruling that “we must not rest and we must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state across the country.”
Dobbs’ fallout also became a pivot point toward the polls in November. It was clear Friday that Padilla was looking to mobilize voters on the issue.
Padilla spoke this Friday of the disappointment that some could feel at the polls next November, reminding voters that “every election matters”, pointing out who is the majority that determines which judges are appointed and confirmed to judicial bodies.
“I encourage all Americans to make their voices heard, not only through legislative advocacy, not only at marches and rallies, they are important, but especially at the ballot box to ensure that this generation of women and future generations of women do not they have less rights than their mothers and grandmothers,” said Padilla.
Dunlop echoed Padilla.
“Roe v. Wade is on the ballot, whether you’re literally voting for it or not, you’re voting for democracy and you’re voting for freedom,” Dunlap expressed.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
With abortion right ‘on the ballot,’ Sen. Alex Padilla finds audience in LA – Press Telegram Source link With abortion right ‘on the ballot,’ Sen. Alex Padilla finds audience in LA – Press Telegram