Senate Democrats on Tuesday marked what would have been the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling by declaring they will not back down against Republican efforts to restrict or limit access to abortions.
A group of Democratic senators, including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.), gathered outside the Supreme Court to decry the overturning of Roe last year as well as the ongoing actions by GOP lawmakers at both the state and federal level to limit or block abortion access.
“On Sunday, what should have been the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, America mourned instead,” Schumer said. “We mourn the fact that millions of women and girls now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. We mourn the loss of individual freedom. We mourn the loss of a woman’s right to choose.”
Schumer condemned GOP attempts, such as those of Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), to enact abortion bans at the federal level, referring to those actions as “un-American.”
Graham introduced a bill in September that would ban all abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a move that saw little enthusiasm from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The new GOP majority in the House earlier this month passed its first abortion-related bill, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires that infants born after attempted abortions receive medical care.
“The American people said hell no to efforts to undermine abortion access in the country. As the last election showed, America is on our side completely,” said Schumer.
Other Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Tina Smith (Minn.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), decried the logistical and financial burdens that abortion bans place on women who are seeking abortions or are unable to access such services due to state legislation.
Reproductive rights activists also added their voices to the lawmakers’ criticisms. Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, accused Republicans of being out of step with the majority of Americans who support abortion access.
“GOP continues to ignore us despite how loud and clear Americans have made themselves. They would rather put our lives in danger than to give up on their selfish quest for power,” said Timmaraju. “Just a reminder, we are the majority.”