Bay Area leaders and community organizers reacted swiftly Friday morning to a much-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision to end constitutional protections for abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade.
“This decision is devastating to women and our country,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said. “The ramifications from this Supreme Court ruling on public health, poverty, and so many downstream consequences have yet to be seen, but right now, women are scared about what this means for them, for their daughters, for all of us.”
Breed said the city was taking steps to prepare for impacts from the ruling. San Francisco’s Department of the Status of Women will be ready for an influx of people traveling from out-of-state, Breed said.
Kimberly Ellis, director of the department, said “It took 40 years for conservatives to plot and scheme the rollback of women’s bodily autonomy and we must have the same unbending and resolute commitment to undoing this new world of forced birth, even if it takes us another 40 years to get there. We will never give up.”
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade ruled that the U.S. Constitution generally protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. Friday’s decision to overturn the 50-year ruling is expected to result in abortion bans in several states.
North Bay Congressman Mike Thompson said the court’s decision was “an assault on women, plain and simple,” in a statement on Friday morning.
“Roe was the law of the land for nearly 50 years, and the right to an abortion was settled law,” Thompson said. “This decision threatens the health of women and will lead to the criminalization and banning of reproductive care.”
A rush-hour rally and march is planned for 5 p.m. at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, according to a release from the Reproductive Justice, a group of several organizations including Glide Memorial Church, and Raging Grannies Action League.
In the South Bay, several elected leaders and community officials plan to gather at 11 a.m. in front of the Robert Peckham Federal Building to announce plans on how to move forward after the court’s decision.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez will be joined by Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, San Jose City Councilwoman Dev Davis, San Jose City Councilman Raul Peralez and other council members.
The Santa Clara supervisors recently approved allocating $3 million to Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, anticipating an increase in women both in the county and from other states seeking abortions.
State Sen. Nancy Skinner said the court’s decision was an “outrage” that has made the nation unsafe for millions.
“The far-right majority’s decision set us back 50 years — to a time of back-alley abortions and deaths, a time when women lacked the legal and fundamental right to self-determination,” said Sen. Skinner, D-Berkeley. “California will not be passive. We will be a national beacon for reproductive justice and guaranteed access to abortion, not just for Californians, but for those who seek services and care here.”
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