AUGUSTA – Today, Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, released the following statements regarding a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade:
“I find myself struggling to find the right words in response to the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion that intends to overturn the landmark abortion rights case. It’s a document that does not reflect the values, experiences, or needs of an overwhelming majority of Americans, let alone respect legal precedent. Instead, it’s a grossly out-of-touch document that reflects fringe beliefs and paints a disturbing picture of what is to come.
“Until the Supreme Court formally issues a ruling, abortion remains legal across the country. In Maine, the right to abortion is protected under state law. Unfortunately, access to abortion remains under constant attack. In 2021 alone, Maine Senate Democrats rejected six outrageous anti-abortion proposals.
“I know people are scared, so let me be clear – Maine Senate Democrats are committed to protecting Mainers’ right to abortion. We’re committed to making sure Maine people can make their own decisions about whether or not to start a family. This means not just protecting the right to abortion but taking steps to make sure that people can access it. It means doing everything we can to ensure that Mainers can access the birth control that works best for their bodies. It also means making sure more new mothers can access post-partum care and doing what we can to help Mainers who are struggling to become parents by improving access to fertility care. This draft opinion is anti-Maine, anti-American and anti-family. ”
“Waking up this morning to the news that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade was sobering. At 73 years old, I can remember a time before Roe v. Wade was law, a time when women who needed abortions were forced to seek them in secret and sometimes dangerous circumstances. It is tragic that we may now be thrust back in time.
“I’m proud that because of the great work we’ve done to codify abortion rights in Maine, the reproductive freedoms of Maine people are protected for now. But across the country, millions of women are preparing to face the consequences of this devastating decision, a decision that will have profound effects on the health and wellbeing of women and their families. It’s a reminder that even in Maine, we must not take our rights for granted – it’s a fight I vow to never give up on.”
“For as long as I’ve been alive (and longer than that), Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land. Last night’s news was deeply disturbing and unsettling for me as a young woman – and as a representative of a diverse community. There is no question that this news is deeply upsetting but please know that abortion remains legal in Maine, and I am committed to making sure it stays that way.
“Now more than ever, we need strong state protections from anti-abortion attacks. Over the past two years, my colleagues and I have defeated several anti-abortion bills. We will continue to stand up and ensure that everyone can exercise their rights to reproductive freedom – without fear, judgment, punishment, or uncertainty. Abortion care is health care, and health care is a human right. A narrow, restrictive opinion that would overturn what has been fact, precedent, and reality for a half-century isn’t going to change that.”