AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and giving states authority to limit or ban the procedure.
In Texas, a “trigger law” will take effect 30 days after a judgement is issued. It will make most abortions illegal in the state with few exceptions: if it is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person or if there is a risk of serious impairment because of the pregnancy.
Texas leaders are reacting to the decision. This is a running list and will be updated as those reactions roll in.
Texas Democrats: ‘Today our worst fear was realized’
“No child or adult should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will,” said Texas Democratic Party Co-Executive Director Hannah Roe Beck. “By supporting this decision and enacting legislation like the ‘trigger’ law, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have made it clear they are hellbent on doing just that. With the passage of Texas’s six-week abortion ban, these radical far-right conservatives have already made Texas an incredibly dangerous place to live for the millions who sought to exercise their previously-protected right to abortion. Now, Texas has become exponentially more dangerous with the activation of this dystopian and extremist law.”
Republican Party of Texas: ‘Today is a historic day’
“Today is a historic day which Republicans and Pro-Life advocates have waited for a generation,” Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi said. “It will be remembered in history as the day the United States of America reversed one of the most unjust, damaging and plainly incorrect judicial decisions in it’s history. Thankfully, the left’s egregious attack on our government institutions failed, and justice was done. We also are grateful for the work of Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, Sen. Angela Paxton, and the Republican and Democrat legislators who passed the law which will now protect the lives of all unborn children in Texas.”
“The Republican Party of Texas continues to support facilitating adoptions and providing assistance to mothers in need both during and after their pregnancies. During the 87th Texas Legislature funding was greatly increased for the Alternatives to Abortion program, which received a total of $100 million for the biennium. This program gives mothers access to needed resources during and after their pregnancy. The program assists new mothers and their children by providing items like diapers, formula, car seats, and classes on pregnancy and parenting. Additionally, private nonprofit crisis pregnancy centers like Birth Choice in Dallas, the Trotter House in Austin, and Houston Pregnancy Help Center in Houston provide services to assist mothers both during and after pregnancy.”
Gov. Greg Abbott (R): ‘Protect innocent, unborn children’
“The U.S. Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children. Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life. Texas has also prioritized supporting women’s healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child. I signed laws that extended Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum, appropriated $345 million for women’s health programs, and invested more than $100 million toward our Alternatives to Abortion program. This critical program provides counseling, mentoring, care coordination, and material assistance, such as car seats, diapers, and housing to mothers in need.”
Candidate for Texas governor Beto O’Rourke: ‘We will overcome this decision in Texas’
“We will overcome this decision in Texas by winning political power,” O’Rourke said in a tweet.
He also posted a video with the message: “I will always fight for a woman’s freedom to make her own decisions about her own body, health care, and future.”
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D): ‘Too many women will needlessly suffer and die’
“As a result of this cruel decision, too many women will needlessly suffer and die. I share the anger that so many feel at this dangerous decision, carrying us backward on abortion and setting the precedent for even more regression from this activist Supreme Court. In response, days of rage are no substitute for what can make a real difference—sustained days of action. It is not enough to vent, rally or march, and go home. Such gatherings are important, but only if they lead to the much more laborious work of seeking meaningful change through the often slow and frustrating democratic process. Reducing the far-reaching harm from today’s decision will only happen through the ballot box, not the courthouse. Now is the time to demand accountability from every elected official on reproductive freedom—encouraging allies and replacing those who are not.“
Attorney General Ken Paxton: ‘In Texas, that question has already been answered’
“Roe v. Wade and its successor case Planned Parenthood v. Casey have absolutely no basis in the U.S. Constitution. Nevertheless, for half a century, Americans have had to live under these illegitimate, illegal, and unconstitutional dictates of a partisan, willful Supreme Court. No more. Today, the question of abortion returns to the states. And in Texas, that question has already been answered: abortion is illegal here. I look forward to defending the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children moving forward.”
Paxton said at noon he will be closing his offices as a memorial to the babies who died by abortion.
Rochelle Garza, candidate for AG (D): ‘We will stand strong’
“I’m running for Texas Attorney General to fight for Texas families and that includes their constitutional right to reproductive freedom. The Supreme Court decision to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent recognizing the constitutional right to bodily autonomy and abortion access will have terrible repercussions for the working families of Texas, and will disproportionately impact women of color, people living in poverty, and rural communities. When I’m Texas’ Attorney General, I will work to restore abortion access and reproductive freedom. This fight is not over, we will stand strong.”
Sen. Sarah Eckhardt (D): ‘Join in the fight’
“Today the Supreme Court has opened the gates to a cruel new reality for women in a state that ranks at or near the bottom in education, child and maternal health care, mental health, child hunger and more. Women will be forced into childbirth without adequate medical and social support. The long-term consequences to these women, their families and our society will be dire.
“Thirty days from now (July 24th), the so-called ‘Trigger Law’ will go into effect in Texas, making it a felony punishable by up to life in prison for a medical professional to perform an abortion, including in cases of rape and incest.
“For Texans with financial means, access to abortion will remain available through travel to other states. But for Texans without financial means, lack of access to reproductive healthcare generally and abortion specifically will further widen the opportunity gap as well as endanger the health of women and babies.
“Abortion is a medically important part of reproductive healthcare, and I will continue to fight for the Constitutional rights of all Texans to have timely access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare. I ask any Texan who believes in personal liberty and a minimally intrusive government to join in that fight.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R): ‘Nothing short of a massive victory for life’
“The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case, reversing Roe v. Wade, is nothing short of a massive victory for life, and it will save the lives of millions of innocent babies. The decision reverses one of the most egregious departures from the Constitution and legal precedent the United States has ever seen, and one that has resulted in the deaths of 63 million American children.
“Roe was wrong the day it was decided, and it has been wrong every day since then. If you search for the word ‘abortion’ in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, you won’t find it. The Court at the time acknowledged that, and yet Roe created a brand new constitutional ‘right’ out of whole cloth.
“And while the left manically argues that the Dobbs decision makes abortion illegal throughout the country, that is false. What this decision does is leave abortion policy up to the states and returns power to the American people—which is exactly how questions of abortion were handled before Roe.
“This is a momentous day, and yet the fight for life doesn’t end with the Dobbs decision. It simply begins a new chapter. I’ve been proud to stand for life in the U.S. Senate, and I will continue to do so as we navigate the path ahead.”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R): ‘Life is a God-given gift’
“The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade!!! Life is a God-given gift, and Texas will ALWAYS take a stand to protect it. A very historic day and a GIANT win for life!”
Rep. Erin Zwiener (D): ‘Texans deserve the right to make decisions’
“Today, a 61% majority of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that simple fact. Texans deserve the right to make decisions about every aspect of their futures, including their plans to have families and careers. Restricting abortion rights means restricting economic opportunity for millions of Texans and taking crucial health care decisions away from the people they impact most. With federal protections for abortion access falling, state legislatures will be the ultimate decision makers on reproductive health law. Texas lawmakers passed a “trigger bill” last session that will make all abortion illegal 30 days after this decision, a devastating step backwards. I’ll always work to defend this crucial right for the people of Texas and to undo these harmful laws.”
Congressional nominee Greg Casar (D): ‘We must fight like hell’
“Our nation must take immediate action in response to this horrible decision by right-wing, Trump-appointed justices. We must immediately direct public funds and private donations to help people get abortion care outside of Texas, beginning in one month. We must push all district attorneys and police departments to not arrest or prosecute Texans under these draconian anti-abortion laws. And we must fight like hell to expand the Supreme Court and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. Texans will not stop fighting back, every day, until this horrific ruling is undone.”
Mayor Steve Adler (D): ‘Austin will, to the best of its ability, do all we can to protect our values’
“It is tragic that women have lost the human right to make their own healthcare choices, including abortion. With this opinion, the Supreme Court puts women & so many at risk & in danger. Austin will, to the best of its ability, do all we can to protect our values & our people.”
Judge Andy Brown (D): ‘Our county will use every tool legally available to us’
“Extremists on the Supreme Court stripped women of their right to privacy and abortion care. My promise to you is that our county will use every tool legally available to us to support people who are pregnant and people who are impacted by today’s ruling,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said on Twitter.
“They have forced their deeply unpopular views on our country by overturning Roe v. Wade. It is critical that we come together, continue to organize, and elect more leaders who respect reproductive rights.”
Texas Medical Association: ‘TMA is unwavering in its stance against intrusions by government’
“TMA remains committed to protecting the privacy and sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. TMA is unwavering in its stance against intrusions by government or other third parties that impede the patient-physician relationship, and any criminalization of acceptable and appropriate medical practices that may jeopardize that relationship or patients’ safety.
“Especially in high-risk situations, patients need to know their physicians will be there to care for them, and TMA will continue to work with state lawmakers to ensure a safe practice environment for physicians and their patients,” TMA President Dr. Gary W. Floyd said.
Center for Reproductive Rights: ‘A wrecking ball’
“The Court’s opinion delivers a wrecking ball to the constitutional right to abortion, destroying the protections of Roe v. Wade, and utterly disregarding the one in four women in America who make the decision to end a pregnancy.
While public support for access to abortion is at an all-time high, the Court has hit a new low by taking away – for the first time ever – a constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty.
Utter chaos lies ahead, as some states race to the bottom with criminal abortion bans, forcing people to travel across multiple state lines and, for those without means to travel, carry their pregnancies to term — dictating their health, lives, and futures. Today’s decision will ignite a public health emergency.
One day, the regressive and cruel Dobbs decision will be reversed for its brazen disregard for the rights of women and the rule of law. Until then, we will use every legal lever to ensure that every person’s right to make decisions about their body and their lives is realized, and that they have access to the full range of reproductive healthcare,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive rights.
Texas Values: ‘MAJOR VICTORY!’
“Roe v. Wade is a Texas case, and as someone who was born in 1973 in Texas, I am so proud that our society and institutions finally recognize life for what it is — a human right,” said Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney for Texas Values.
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade will go down in history as one of many monumental decisions our nation has made to reverse our course as treating a class of people as unhuman. All babies will have the ultimate right to life fulfilled that is not only guaranteed by our constitution but by our Creator,” added Mary Elizabeth Castle, senior policy advisor for Texas Values.
Progress Texas: ‘Devastating’
“We knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating,” said Diana Gómez, advocacy director at Progress Texas. “Abortion supporters are the majority and together, we have the strength to form a massive political resistance. We must turn anger into action by voting for candidates who unapologetically support abortion access in every election, including the upcoming midterm election.”