SAN DIEGO (CNS) — Elected leaders in San Diego County largely condemned Friday's ruling overturning the federal abortion protections of Roe v. Wade, which puts abortion policy at the discretion of states, many that have restricted and outlawed the procedure in recent months.
The opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. is similar to a draft that was leaked to Politico in May.
"We hold that Roe and (the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs.) Casey must be overruled," Alito wrote. "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely -- the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment."
Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego said, "I share the searing fury felt by the majority of Americans who are angry and scared for what this Supreme Court decision means -- for the lives of their daughters, granddaughters, and loved ones. For the lives of everyone who will be left without options as a result of this regressive decision. With this ruling, the Supreme Court has turned its back on safety and equality. But in California, those values remain firmly rooted. Here, pregnant individuals and their families will always be entitled to dignity, understanding, and reproductive choice."
Atkins said that her prior work running a women's health clinic emphasized the need for abortion access.
"I listened to and learned from a distraught mother whose daughter died after an illegal abortion, and helped women understand all of their options when they thought they had none," she said. "We will not be shoved back into the dark days of desperate decisions. Abortion is health care and the decision to have one lies solely with the patient. California will not leave people vulnerable to the tyranny of a loud minority."
Nora Vargas, San Diego County Supervisor and Advocate for Women’s Reproductive Rights says, “ We are a state that values women having access to reproductive health care and access to abortion. Abortion is health care.”
Vargas adds because California is a protected state, women will still have access to an abortion regardless of the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Roe v. Wade.
But she adds, this does add fuel to the fire, in the efforts to protect those rights.
And Vargas joins state leaders in this mission. Earlier this month Supervisor Vargas stood next to Attorney General Rob Bonta, during his visit to San Diego, where he announced his efforts to crack down on crisis pregnancy centers who represent themselves as abortion clinics. But, they are not.
Vargas says this ruling highlights the work that needs to be done. She adds, " We're going to do everything we can to continue to fight. we're going to organize, mobilize, and we're going to do the work we need to do on the ground. So everyone has access to safe legal abortion not only in CA but in the country."
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria called it "a dark day for our nation. The Supreme Court has failed in its core duty to provide equal justice under the law. A woman's right to reproductive freedom, including abortion, has been recognized for half a century and now is being rolled back by Justices who are catering to the country's right-wing extremists. I am outraged and horrified -- but undeterred. Here in California and in San Diego, I pledge to do everything within my power to preserve reproductive freedom and the privacy rights every American should be able to enjoy."
Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, said, "This decision will create uncertainty where there was clarity. We must use this tremendous setback as motivation. It's time to fight forward."
County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer said she was "heartbroken" by the decision. "Time for us to lend a helping hand to the hundreds of thousands of women trapped in states where our bodies are not protected, where our health and autonomy are subjugated."
County Supervisor Nora Vargas said the ruling was "disheartening," but emphasized that abortion access remains available in California. "Today, I stand in solidarity with advocates across our county and our nation, with a broken heart. The fight continues. We will continue to organize, mobilize and fight to defend our right to access safe, legal abortions. "
Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-San Diego said, "Today's decision will go down as one of the most destructive, regressive, and shameful decisions made by the Supreme Court in our nation's history. As one of the few women of reproductive age in Congress, this attempt to strip people of their bodily autonomy is personal."
Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, called it an "anti-freedom decision" that is "dangerous & regressive."
Rep. Mike Levin, D-Oceanside, called the decision "devastating. The lives of women everywhere are now at risk because of right-wing justices forced on the American people by Mitch McConnell, Trump, and their allies. The American people must now vote like your most basic rights are at stake, because they are."
Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Chula Vista, said the ruling was "fundamentally wrong and extremely disappointing, impacting millions of women across the country."
The ruling, however, was met with praise from Republicans across the country.
"Millions of Americans are celebrating today's ruling and a pro-life movement that has worked tirelessly for decades," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. "For a half century unelected judges have dictated America's abortion laws. This historic ruling rightfully returns power to the American people to enact laws that protect unborn children and support mothers everywhere. As this debate now returns to the states and the American people, we know there is still much work ahead. Republicans will continue to advocate for life, uphold the law, and stand against an extreme Democrat Party's pro-abortion agenda."
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-San Marcos, said, "Today is a great day for the cause and the principle of life ... I will always stand for life. And I will always support and defend our Constitution."
The opinion by Alito was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. concurred, but did not join the majority opinion. He said he would have upheld a Mississippi 15-week ban on abortion, but would have not overturned Roe v. Wade.
"The court's decision to overrule Roe and Casey is a serious jolt to the legal system," Roberts wrote.
Justice Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
"Today, the court ... says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of," their dissent read. "A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs."
Cardinal-designate Robert McElroy, of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, issued the following statement after Friday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. He said in part:
“Today is a day to give thanks and celebrate. Catholic social teaching holds that life begins at conception, which is a belief shared by millions of Americans regardless of religious faith. The ruling by the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization affirms that belief and recognizes the ability of states to regulate abortion to protect the rights of the unborn."
There are a number of vigils that are being organized tonight. One of them will be held at Waterfront Park. It will be held at 7 p.m.