Southern New England leaders react to Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — After the United States Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade Friday morning, Rhode Island reacted to the decision.

In a statement, Gov. Dan McKee said that Rhode Island “will always support a woman’s right to choose,” adding that the state will continue to allow women to continue to have abortions.

“Make no mistake about it: today’s Supreme Court decision will not stop abortions. It will only make them less safe. It’s time for Congress to act and support a woman’s right to choose, just like Rhode Island has done,” the governor added.

While Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos said that she’s grateful that the Ocean States still allows women to have abortions, she believes that “we must do more.”

“We cannot tolerate encroachments on a this fundamental right to choose,” she said.

“This is a significant blow to equal rights for women. Because of this ruling, access to health care and the ability to receive appropriate treatment will now depend on what state you live in, your economic status, and the scrutiny and judgment of others,” Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed expressed in an email to ABC 6 News.

Seth Magaziner, who is looking win a congressional seat this year, wrote in a statement that, “In Congress, I will fight to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law so that women across the country can make their own healthcare decisions.”

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

“I am appalled at the Supreme Court’s final ruling. Access to abortion is a fundamental right and I’m proud that we’ve worked together to protect that right in Rhode Island, including codifying Roe into state law,” said Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha released a statement reading, “Abortion is healthcare, and today’s decision upending almost 50 years of precedent threatens essential healthcare access in states across the country where abortion is restricted under state law.”


“Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including possible serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, and the derailment of efforts to achieve equal status in the workplace and to make critical decisions about their lives, families, and careers,” the ACLU added in a statement of their own.

Care New England made it clear that Rhode Islanders would still be able to have abortions at their facilities, writing, “Abortion remains legal in Rhode Island and here at Women & Infants Hospital, we remain here to care for our patients and our communities and to ensure that people who need abortion care are able to access it.”

“This expected but devastating ruling from the Supreme Court effectively takes away a clear constitutional right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, for everyone in the United States who seek that care,” added Providence Mayoral Candidate Brett Smiley.

Bishop Thomas Tobin released a statement commending the Supreme Court for their decision, saying, “I am very pleased that the Supreme Court has now effectively overturned Roe v. Wade that for decades has directed abortion legislation in this country.”

“In recognizing this decision, however, it is abundantly clear that the work on behalf of human life is not over; it has now just moved to a new arena and has assumed new urgency,” he concluded.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order to protect women’s right to an abortion.

“The Commonwealth has long been a leader in protecting a woman’s right to choose and access to reproductive health services, while other states have criminalized or otherwise restricted access,” Baker wrote in a statement. “This executive order will further preserve that right and protect reproductive health care providers who serve out of state residents.

In response to the Supreme Court Justices’ decision, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in part that “Democrats have tools to fight back, from legislation in Congress to executive orders from the President to initiatives at the state and local level — we just need to use them.”

“We are angry — angry and determined. We will not go back. Not now. Not ever,” she concluded.

Sen. Ed Marke called the ruling an “egregious and overtly political act that jeopardizes the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans.”

“Abolish the filibuster, pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and expand the Court now,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Jake Auchincloss is confident that abortion will remain legal in the Bay State, saying, “Abortion is going to remain safe and legal in Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth is stepping up to be a safe haven for women who are in healthcare deserts.”

“At the federal level, we are also working to protect access to abortion medication. But what we really need is for the Senate to step up and follow the House’s lead in making Roe the law of the land,” Auchincloss concluded.

Sen. Jack Reed said this ruling is, “taking a way a right from every woman in America.” He continued, “I hope more Americans — men and women — who believe in women’s reproductive health rights will make their voices heard at the ballot box.”

Categories: Massachusetts, News, Regional News, Rhode Island