Reactions to Overturning of ‘Roe v. Wade’

Supreme Court Releases Ruling Friday Morning

Planned Parenthood held a rally at De la Guerra Plaza in December 2021 when the Supreme Court first heard the Mississippi case putting a limit on abortions at 15 weeks. This Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court decision on that case put an end to federal abortion rights. | Credit: Courtesy

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade through its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, striking a half-century of legal precedent on Constitutional reproductive rights. Below, we gather reactions to the decision from Santa Barbara–area and California leaders.

Fund for Santa Barbara: We Won’t Stop Until Abortion Rights Are Restored

Credit: Courtesy

We share your grief and outrage.

Though we knew this was coming, nothing could have prepared us for this morning’s news, the overturning of Roe v. Wade. While this failure of the court affects every one of our lives, our most immediate concerns extend to the tens of millions of people in trigger law states that will be immediately impacted by this decision, especially folks in black, brown, and marginalized communities—who we know will feel the disproportionate brunt of this blow.

The fight(s) of a generation lies ahead. Today’s Supreme Court Ruling on Roe immediately puts other rights protected by the 14th amendment at risk— among them, marriage equality and the right to use contraception. We must make no mistake in understanding that the attacks on women’s rights, reproductive rights, bodily autonomy, and our constitutional right to privacy are attacks on all of us. May this pivotal moment in time serve as a wake-up call that galvanizes us into action to defend one another, our rights, and our futures— futures that are inextricably linked.

Today is extremely difficult. We hope that you are able to take care of yourself and allow yourself space to feel and react to the betrayal and pain that we are collectively witnessing and experiencing. Tomorrow, and in the days, weeks and months ahead, we must transform our collective outrage and sorrow into relentless action. 80% of those polled across the country believe that abortion should be legal— there is power in that collective, and we won’t stop until abortion rights are restored.

In the coming days there will surely be more information about how we can collectively mobilize to support and tend to the communities most impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. We will be sharing resources and opportunities for action while supporting local reproductive rights organizations and working with local partners to identify what comes next. In the immediate, please consider donating to an abortion fund, particularly one operating in an abortion-hostile state. Please also participate in the demonstrations taking place across the Central Coast.

  • Santa Maria’s We Won’t Go Back Rally at Santa Maria City Hall on June 24, 5:30 p.m.
  • Santa Barbara’s Vigil for Roe at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse front entrance, 1100 Anacapa St. on June 24, 5:30 p.m.
  • San Luis Obispo’s Vigil for Roe at the San Luis Obispo’s Superior Court front steps, 1050 Monterey St. on June 24, 5:30 p.m.
  • Ventura’s Vigil for Roe at the Ventura County Government Center, corner of Telephone and Victoria, 800 S. Victoria Ave. on June 24, 5:30 p.m.
  • Not on the Central Coast? Find your local event here. 

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“This is a dark moment for our country,” said Attorney General Bonta. “This court’s decision is outrageous, unprecedented, and dangerous. It blasts our nation back into the dark ages. Millions are now facing a stark reality when it comes to their right to choose. People all across the nation — their bodies, futures, and families — will be hurt by this decision. But, in California, we refuse to turn back the clock and let politicians exert control over a person’s body. Despite the decision, abortion remains fully protected here in California. We’ll keep fighting to strengthen and expand access to safe and legal abortion. As Attorney General, I will use the full force of the law and the full authority of my office to protect reproductive healthcare for every person who seeks it in California. Abortion remains a legally protected right in our state and, in California, we won’t backslide.”

Over the last half a century, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed and reaffirmed that the U.S. Constitution protects a person’s ability to make the profoundly personal decision of whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, people across the country have made decisions and ordered their lives in reliance on the existence of a constitutional right to decide whether to have an abortion before the point of viability. Today’s decision upending Roe and long-settled constitutional law reverts to an era of inequality and jeopardizes the health and safety of people all across the nation. An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute from April identified 26 states that are certain or likely to ban abortion as a result of today’s decision. These laws will greatly reduce access to safe and legal abortion and lead to vast abortion deserts in large areas of the country. The corresponding health and socioeconomic consequences of the lack of access to abortion will fall disproportionately on low-income communities and people of color.

Despite the decision, abortion remains a legally protected right in California and in many states across the nation. Attorney General Bonta will keep fighting to strengthen and expand access to safe and legal abortion. In June, the Attorney General issued a consumer alert warning Californians seeking reproductive health services about the limited and potentially misleading nature of the services provided by crisis pregnancy centers. In May, the Attorney General emphasized health apps’ obligations under California law to protect and secure reproductive health information and reaffirmed his commitment to protecting reproductive rights, joining leaders in SacramentoLong BeachSan DiegoSan Francisco, and elsewhere to make it clear that California is and will remain a reproductive freedom state. In January, Attorney General Bonta issued a legal alert to district attorneys and law enforcement making it clear that California law does not criminalize pregnancy loss and called on attorneys general across the country to review their own laws and issue similar alerts where appropriate. He also sent a letter to sheriffs across California to remind them of their legal obligation to ensure access to reproductive healthcare for people incarcerated in county jails. In addition, in the face of attacks on the right to choose across the nation, the Attorney General has taken action in court, filing briefs against efforts to undermine abortion access out of ArizonaIndianaTexasSouth Carolina, and Mississippi. Earlier this month, the Attorney General issued an information bulletin to law enforcement to remind them of state and federal laws protecting security around and access to reproductive healthcare.

A copy of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is available here. Additional information about California’s strong laws protecting the right to abortion is available here.

Pacific Pride Foundation: We Stand Together in Outrage and Solidarity

Following the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health organization to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, Pacific Pride Foundation issued the following statement:

Pacific Pride Foundation squarely condemns the United States Supreme Court decision overturning nearly 50 years of protection for abortion rights in this country. This decision does not reflect the ideals of our country, and it is out of line with the historical direction of the Court and U.S. Constitutional law, which has never before reversed itself in favor of removing fundamental rights.

“This decision is abhorrent on its face, putting at risk the lives and well-being of anyone seeking an abortion, including LGBTQ+ people,” said Kristin Flickinger, Executive Director of Pacific Pride Foundation. “Make no mistake, abortion rights are LGBTQ+ rights, and today’s decision hurts LGBTQ+ people directly.”

In a study earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign reported that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer cisgender women, and transgender men and non-binary people assigned female at birth are just as likely, and sometimes more likely, to need abortion services. The implications of today’s decision will also be disproportionate, felt most acutely by Black, Latino, and Indigenous people, immigrants, people living with low incomes, and people in rural areas — communities that historically already face barriers to abortion access due to systemic racism and discrimination. 

In addition to its direct impact, the Dobbs decision has clear and concerning implications for all rights based on privacy, including the right to contraception, same-sex marriage, and more.

This latest attack on reproductive rights is one in a string of recent attacks on liberty, autonomy and privacy, from anti-trans bills to bans on teaching LGBTQ+ histories in schools. 

“This is nothing new to the LGBTQ+ community or movement. We have experienced these moments of setback before. We have seen our rights stripped from us and have experienced attack and neglect at the hands of our institutions and officials,” continued Flickinger. “The reproductive rights movement and LGBTQ+ movement have long been intertwined, and now is no different. We will continue to support our partners on the front lines of this important work as we prepare for what is ahead. And we will continue through advocacy and education to ensure a vibrant, thriving, and visible LGBTQ+ community.” 

Here’s how you can join us:

  • Attend tonight’s vigils at 5:30: Santa Barbara County Courthouse (1100 Anacapa St), San Luis Obispo Superior Court (1050 Monterey St.), and Ventura County Government Center (800 S. Victoria Ave) 
  • Donate. This is just the beginning of the fight, and the LGBTQ+ community will need us in the months and years to come.
  • Register to vote. Register your friends to vote. Vote.

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara: SCOTUS Decision Puts Girls’ Health, Privacy, and Futures At Risk

We are deeply disappointed in the SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade restricting access to healthcare and deepening the socioeconomic and health divides already prevalent in Santa Barbara and across our country. Girls will continue to feel the effects of this decision on their futures, limiting their human rights, their freedoms, their privacies, and their opportunities to grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara (GIGSB) is committed to empowering girls to advocate for themselves and speaks on their behalf in our community as we strive towards a more equitable society where girls have freedom and personal responsibility – particularly when it comes to choices regarding their health and well-being.

We believe that every girl is STRONG. They are in charge of their health, and possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles. The recent Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling overturning Roe v. Wade – the 1973 lawsuit which led to the SCOTUS decision establishing that women have a constitutional right to privacy in their reproductive medical decisions – has denied girls in our community and beyond the right to be STRONG by taking away privacy and autonomy in their healthcare.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rightsenabling girls to make informed and autonomous decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health is critical for fulfilling their human rights and ensuring access to education, economic opportunities, social empowerment, and financial independence. The SCOTUS decision denies girls these rights.

Everyone should have privacy and autonomy in their healthcare decisions – including adolescents. As we support our girls and work through the repercussions of the SCOTUS ruling on their futures, we commit – now more than ever – to be a beacon of social change for every girl who will continue to feel the effects of this decision for years to come.

In fulfilling our mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, we will continue to provide a safe space for girls to develop their strengths and voices, take risks, and navigate the gender, economic, and social barriers that place limits on their potential. Our girls are now at risk, and the basis for what we teach and advocate on behalf of at GIGSB is threatened.

GIGSB is committed to providing the platform and tools our girls need to advocate for themselves and their peers. We will provide ongoing opportunities for our girls to ask questions and train our staff on how to answer those questions so that GIGSB can continue to educate on the topics that affect girls’ futures.

We recognize that the family is the primary source of information about these issues, and we will continue to help girls and young women communicate with their families about sexuality. In the coming weeks and months, GIGSB will also be developing educational opportunities related to the SCOTUS decision so that our girls, their families, and the community can realize the implications of the ruling and discover opportunities to push for social change.

In Santa Barbara, we are proud to be a Girls Inc. affiliate where we can break down barriers, amplify girls’ voices, and strive toward an equitable society where all girls can grow up strong, smart, and bold.

Padilla Denounces Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“The right to an abortion is an essential right. But today, six right-wing justices on the Supreme Court cast aside half a century of precedent to overturn Roe v. Wade. This draconian decision will deprive millions of Americans of the basic freedom to make decisions for their own bodies. It also jeopardizes other fundamental civil rights, like the right to marry who you love, the right to privacy, and the right to access contraception.

“I refuse to accept a reality in which women across the country are stripped of the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. And the American people shouldn’t accept this either. I will do everything I can in the Senate to enshrine reproductive rights in federal law. But with so much on the line, I also urge every American to make their voice heard, especially at the ballot box, to ensure that this generation of women is not left with fewer rights than their mothers.

“Let’s be clear: today’s decision is the direct result of a Republican effort to radicalize our Supreme Court. Now, in decision after decision, a radical right-wing majority of Republican-appointed justices is rewriting history and overturning settled precedents in order to undo hard won progress. In doing so, they have provoked a crisis of legitimacy at the Supreme Court.”

Senator Padilla is a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would guarantee access and the right to provide abortion services in the United States. Following the leak of a draft decision in Dobbs, Padilla spoke on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to pass the bill immediately.

UC Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Decision

University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D., today (June 24) issued the following statement on the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

For nearly 50 years, people in the United States have had the right to make private, informed choices about their health care and their futures. I am gravely concerned that today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision removes that right and will endanger lives across the country. This decision overturns decades of legal precedent and could pave the way for other fundamental rights to be removed.

The Court’s decision is antithetical to the University of California’s mission and values. We strongly support allowing individuals to access evidence-based health care services and to make decisions about their own care in consultation with their medical team. Despite this decision by the Court, we will continue to provide the full range of health care options possible in California, including reproductive health services, and to steadfastly advocate for the needs of our patients, students, staff, and the communities we serve. We will also continue to offer comprehensive education and training to the next generation of health care providers, and to conduct life-saving research to the fullest extent possible.

This is a sobering moment for many of us at the University of California and throughout the nation. Today, we stand with California leaders and health care advocates who are taking critical steps to protect Californians’ human rights and their access to affordable and convenient health care choices.

Statement by Senator Limón on the Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

(SACRAMENTO) Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

“Today’s announcement confirms the fears of millions of Americans as we witness a woman’s right to control her own reproductive choices be shredded by the Supreme Court. As we continue to navigate this territory, it is so important that we reaffirm our investments for reproductive care in California — as we have for decades. 

“While this announcement is a blow, I remain committed to protecting ALL reproductive health care options in California and showing the nation what it means to support the right of women to make reproductive health choices.”

Planned Parenthood California Central Coast Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Santa Barbara, CA – Planned Parenthood California Central Coast (PPCCC) released the following statement from Jenna Tosh, President and CEO, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the court case directly challenging nearly 50 years of precedent established under Roe v. Wade: 

“We are outraged and ready to fight. The Supreme Court has taken away the constitutional right to abortion, a right we’ve had for nearly 50 years. The court, now dominated by justices hostile to reproductive freedom, has robbed millions of the power to control decisions about their bodies, their lives, and their futures.” 

Link to Supreme Court decision 

Rep. Carbajal Statement on Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmember Salud Carbajal,a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus, issued the following statement in reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where they struck a half century of legal precedent on Constitutional reproductive rights by overturning Roe v. Wade:

“This decision, which overturns a half-century of legal precedent, is a betrayal of our Constitution and a betrayal of millions of women who count on its protections to retain control of their own body and choices.

“As more than half of all U.S. states stand ready to eradicate women’s reproductive rights in the wake of this decision, the majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose must see this as a call to action.

“States that have further enshrined these rights like California must stand as a beacon and safe harbor for those whose health care access is now imperiled.

“And we must continue to search for a pathway for legislation which I have already helped pass in the House to codify Roe into federal law.” 

In September, the U.S. House passed legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Carbajal, the Women’s Health Protection Act, to codify a woman’s right to an abortion into law.

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details as they become available.

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.