Maryland leaders react strongly to Supreme Court overturning Roe

Published on: June 26, 2022 3:38 PM EDT

Construction on the Maryland State House in Annapolis began in 1772 and it's the oldest state capital building in the nation still in continuous legislative use. The building's dome is undergoing a rehabilitation project.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott:

Today the court has taken aim at women and their right to make fundamental health choices about their own bodies. This decision is especially harmful for Black Women and women of color who already face disparate health challenges and barriers to care. The court got it absolutely wrong again today. Men have absolutely no place deciding what women do with their bodies.

I promise to make sure Baltimore City is doing its part to maintain safe access to abortion services for our residents and those who come here seeking care. I call on my fellow mayors to do the same in their cities.

This election cycle couldn’t be more important. If, like me, you support women’s rights, make sure your voice is heard on the ballot.

Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones:

It is a dark day for our country. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will put women’s lives in jeopardy across America. Here in Maryland, access to the full range of reproductive health services will not be limited by this decision.

I will continue to put the full weight of my office behind a Maryland constitutional amendment to protect women’s health care and reproductive liberty. The recent decisions of the Supreme Court are dragging America backwards.

We cannot and will not give up. Now is the time to mobilize for the country we all deserve.

Maryland State Senate President Bill Ferguson:

Today is a distressing day for Americans, especially women, as we witness the willful degradation of a long-held right to reproductive freedom and further erosion of trust in our country’s highest court.

We must now continue this fight at the State level.

In the weeks and months to come, women will likely come to Maryland seeking reproductive care in a state that understands the importance of the right to privacy and equality. While many may now question the future of reproductive rights in America, in Maryland that right will always be protected and enshrined in state law. We will welcome those who seek care in our state.

Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos:

Rough day for the U.S. thanks to the Supreme Court. No words can express my outrage. We live in Maryland and abortion is still legal. Please support the Baltimore Abortion Fund because our sisters from all over the U.S. are coming and need our support.

Archbishop William E. Lori (in a joint statement with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For nearly 50 years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.

America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.

… Now is the time to begin the work of building a post-Roe America. It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby:

As a mother of two little girls, I’m not only appalled but heartbroken. I’m heartbroken because I taught my little girls to not only appreciate that their bodies are their temples, but to appreciate the fact that we live in a country that constitutionally guaranteed them the autonomous right to make decisions about their own bodies.

Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski Jr.:

Reproductive rights are human rights. With this ruling, SCOTUS needlessly endangers the health of women and robs them of their right to make their own healthcare choices.

Rev. Emily M.D. Scott, pastor of Baltimore’s St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and Dreams & Visions

In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that he came so that we might “have life, and have it abundantly.” People forced to carry pregnancies to term is simply not the abundant life that Jesus wants for us. When I think of the landscape of a post-Roe America, I am horrified by the implications: poor folks and people and color will bear the heaviest burden. Unwanted pregnancies will push them farther from education and deeper into poverty. Mental health outcomes are worse for people who have an unwanted pregnancy and give birth when compared to those who have abortions. This is not a vision of what God wants for God’s people — God wants the hungry fed and for God’s people to have the chance to flourish.

Because our maternal death rates, especially those of women of color and Black women, are so high compared with other high-income nations, women will die because of this ruling.

I am heartbroken, and grieving. The end of Roe v. Wade is yet another cog in our nation’s ugly machine of disenfranchisement.

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh:

Today’s decision strips away the fundamental right of women to control their own bodies. Including in its sweep even survivors of abuse, rape, and incest, it robs all women of autonomy to make the most personal decisions about their health care. Its harms will have disproportionate impact on women of color and those of low income, many of whom already lack meaningful access to affordable health care of any kind. And even more broadly, this decision overturning 50 years of precedent also threatens the rights of all Americans to make private decisions about their lives without government interference.

I am proud of my vote over 30 years ago to codify Roe v. Wade in state law, and I am proud of the work that our office has done since to protect and expand access to reproductive health care services across Maryland. We will continue to champion the rights of women to make their own health care decisions and to safeguard the right to privacy for all Marylanders.

State Del. Ariana Kelly:

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe. Brace yourselves for increased inequality, increased maternal and child mortality, poor health outcomes and worse.

U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer:

Today is a dark day for the privacy of everyone in America and the freedom of women to make their own health care decisions. In striking down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court’s Republican-appointed justices ignored nearly five decades of precedent and clear constitutional principles.

The American people know that our Constitution guarantees women’s reproductive freedom, even if these six justices do not. That’s why the House already passed Rep. Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act, which would enshrine the principles of Roe v. Wade in federal statute. However, Senate Republicans continue to filibuster that bill, rejecting even debate on that measure just a few weeks ago. As Democratic-led states move to implement stronger protections for reproductive choice, I expect many Republican-led states will do the opposite, advancing draconian state laws that criminalize abortion.

This decision also opens a door to overturning established precedent on many other important rights and freedoms enjoyed by Americans, including contraception access and the right of LGBTQ Americans to marry those they love. No right is safe from this activist group of Republican-appointed justices who see themselves as legislators. We will not rest, we will not yield, we will not waver in our determination to restore the protections that Roe v. Wade offered and that Planned Parenthood v. Casey affirmed.

U. S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen:

Today’s outrageous ruling from the far-right packed Supreme Court jeopardizes the health of millions of women around our nation. The Supreme Court has thrown aside the Constitution and is instead forcing its ideological beliefs down the throats of the American people. This is a results-driven ruling, not a rule of law decision, and it undermines the court’s legitimacy. This decision not only overturns the law of our land that has been in place for almost fifty years — it also flies directly in the face of the will of our country. The American people don’t want elected officials interfering in their most personal, private decisions. The Congress must act now to protect reproductive freedom, and I’ll be fighting with everything I’ve got to do that.

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris:

Today, the Supreme Court got it right in overturning the incorrectly decided, decades-old Roe opinion that treated human life as not worthy of protection under our Constitution. As I have long said, human life is worthy of protection from conception until its natural end, and I am thankful that this ruling now affirms that. It is my hope that this decision will be respected on the legal merits upon which it was written.

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