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June 24, 2022

King Statement on Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court issued an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade:

“Today’s decision to overturn nearly half a century of precedent upon precedent is a dangerous, blatantly political ruling that will rob millions of women the fundamental right to make decisions about their own health, safety, and lives. The right to a safe, legal abortion has been reaffirmed by the Court time and time again – but this new majority has decided to overwrite longstanding precedent to impose their own personal and religious views on women across the country. This ruling goes against the wishes of the majority of Americans, and lays a terrifying groundwork for this Court to unravel many other hard-earned civil rights in the years ahead.

“This decision is deeply infuriating, but it is unfortunately not a surprise. Beyond being telegraphed in the leaked decision earlier this year, this decision firmly aligns with the clear, decades-long conservative campaign to fill our nation’s court system with ideologically-driven judges who would vote to end abortion access. This goal was made explicit by former President Donald Trump, who promised to only appoint judges who would overturn Roe. This promise, along with each nominee’s clear hostility towards a woman’s right to choose, were among the main reasons that I voted against Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. For all the fear-mongering about so-called ‘judicial activism’ by some conservative lawmakers, their chosen judges clearly do not hesitate to overturn precedent, override popular sentiment, and overreach beyond the Court’s historic incremental approach.  

“The impacts of this ruling will reverberate in communities throughout America – but fortunately, Maine women will not be denied this basic right thanks to protections in our state constitution and the leadership of Governor Mills. However, this does not change the fact that far too many across the country will not be so lucky, and will be penalized for the crime of living in the wrong state. This decision will make healthcare services more difficult to access for millions, and the lives of low-income Americans who cannot afford to travel to a state where abortion is legal will be unnecessarily put at risk. Let me be clear, this decision will not lead to the banning of abortion, no matter how earnestly its opponents and the majority of this court may desire it. What it will do is facilitate the banning of safe abortions, to the detriment of women in all corners of our country.

“While there is no clear or easy path to reverse this decision, I will continue doing everything in my power to protect this fundamental right. I will pursue any possible compromise and will not rest until women across the nation can once again make this personal decision with the input of loved ones and medical professionals – not the government.”

Senator King recently voted to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation which would codify the longstanding precedent of Roe v. Wade into federal law and protect a woman’s right to make these vital healthcare decisions. King voted against Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett who ruled against the protections of Roe. In his reasoning for voting against each, King specifically noted their likely hostility towards the precedent of Roe and unwillingness to answer clear questions on the landmark ruling.   

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