Local leaders react to Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

Local rallies after Roe v Wade decision
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:48 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV/AP) - Within minutes after the Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade, local leaders expressed their opinions.

The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the Court was prepared to take this momentous step. Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the Court — were in dissent.

Several local Republicans, including Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, tweeted statements in favor of the ruling. In May, Schmitt said he would take immediate action to allow the abortion ban to take effect and he stood firm by his statement.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a proclamation Friday morning ending elective abortions in Missouri.

The proclamation gives legal effect to Section 188.017 RSMo and activates the “Right to Life of the Unborn Child Act.”

“Nothing in the text, history, or tradition of the United States Constitution gave un-elected federal judges authority to regulate abortion. We are happy that the U.S. Supreme Court has corrected this error and returned power to the people and the states to make these decisions,” Governor Parson said.

READ: Gov. Parson signs proclamation ending elective abortions in Mo.

Missouri’s GOP-led legislature passed the abortion ban in 2019 in hopes that the 1973 ruling would later be tossed out. Abortions would only be allowed to save the life of the mother. Anyone who performs an unlawful abortion would face 5 to 15 years in prison.

Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley tweeted a short statement.

Former Missouri governor and U.S. Senate GOP hopeful Eric Greitens said the decision is “a huge victory for the life movement.”

Democratic representatives in Missouri and Illinois voiced their opinions as well.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones released the following statement:

In a statement, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) stated,

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the ruling was “a direct assault on the right to privacy and self-determination.”

“..To women everywhere: abortion is still safe and legal in Illinois. Governor Pritzker enshrined the right to choose into state law in preparation for this very moment and we will not go backward. Illinoisans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to control her own future––and Governor Pritzker will fight like hell to protect those rights.” his official statement read.

Missouri US Senate candidate Lucas Kunce demanded Congress codify Roe v Wade.

Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth wrote “this outcome is a nightmare that at robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy wrote that while he supports the decision the ruling “will potentially make” the division between a “deeply divided” country worse.

Previous Poll Results on Roe v. Wade

KMOV ran an exclusive poll in May found that 48% of Missourians say at least some abortions should be permitted while 46% say very few or none should be allowed. Of those, 26% say abortion should always be legally permitted, 22% say it should be legal with some restrictions, 29% say abortion should be illegal, except in cases of rape, incent, or to save a mother’s life, and 13% say abortion should always be illegal.

Exclusive Poll: Majority of Missourians blame Biden for inflation, feel some abortions should be legal

Of those who took the poll, 47% of responders say Roe V. Wade should remain the law of the land, while 31% feel it should be overturned.

If Roe V. Wade is overturned, pollsters found that 58% of Missouri adults are opposed to an existing Missouri law that would automatically go into effect and ban all abortions.