By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
ALBANY — On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, the 1973 high court ruling that determined there is a constitutional right to abortion.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court’s majority that the ruling and high court’s decision “must be overruled,” calling the arguments in favor of Roe “exceptionally weak.”
The court’s majority decision, supported by six justices and opposed by three, determined the constitutional right to abortion, which has been upheld in the courts for nearly a half century, no longer exists.
The court decision means states will have the right to determine if abortion will be permitted in their state.
Gov. Kathy Hochul rushed to assure New Yorkers the right to abortion will not be changed in New York state. In conjunction with the state Department of Health, Hochul said a robust public education campaign will aim to let everyone know abortion will “always” be accessible in New York.
“We feared this dark day — but New York did not hesitate to prepare for it,” Hochul said Friday. “The Supreme Court has dealt a crushing blow to all who value the ability to make decisions about their own bodies. Let me be clear: the Supreme Court has failed us, but New York state will not. Our Abortion Access Always campaign builds on efforts to ensure that everyone knows that abortions remain safe, legal and accessible here. As long as I am governor, this state will protect you.”
Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, the former congressman representing the 19thCongressional District, issued a similar statement Friday.
“This decision overturning the right to an abortion is plainly and simply about control and power over women’s bodies,” Delgado said. “This is an extreme ideology that’s taken over, replacing women’s decisions about when and how to start a family with the decisions of politicians. Too many women across this country will now have the will of right-wing politicians forced on them, instead of having their right to choose protected. We cannot, and will not, back down until this injustice is reversed.”
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy expressed disappointment with the court’s ruling.
“I am disappointed to learn of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade through an overreaching decision that infringes on the rights of countless women across the country,” McCoy said. “I’m proud that New York state will ensure that a woman’s right to choose will be upheld. I thank Gov. Hochul and the state Legislature for their leadership on this issue.”
Right to Life groups praised the Supreme Court decision.
“This is a great day for preborn children and their mothers,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The court has correctly decided that a right to abortion is not in the Constitution, thereby allowing the people, through their elected representatives, to have a voice in this very important decision.”
State Sen. Michelle Hinchey, D-46, called Friday a “dark day” in American history.
“Today’s SCOTUS decision rolls back the clock 50 years,” Hinchey said. “Fifty years of people fighting for their rights. Fifty years of women fighting for our own autonomy, our own ability to make a choice about the future of our lives. This decision, while infuriatingly expected, hurts, and it hurts deeply.”
Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102, did not issue a statement at press time.