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'Ending Roe v. Wade will not end abortion,' Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi spokesperson says

Abortion-rights activist argues with anti-abortion-rights protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Eman Mohammed
Abortion-rights activist argues with anti-abortion-rights protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A leaked draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published by Politico.

The draft has been confirmed as authentic by Chief Justice John Roberts, but it’s important to note that it is not yet final. The decision could change before being handed down by the nine-member court.

The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi said in a statement they were heartbroken but not surprised by the draft opinion. The joint statement was cosigned by 52 other Democratic State Parties.

The group also called for federal legislators to codify Roe.

"Ending Roe v. Wade will not end abortion. What it does is end access to safe and legal abortions for our most vulnerable communities," said Shannon Matson, vice chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi.

"Living on the Big Island, we already have limited health care access across the board. The more that these bans continue across the country, and if they happen to reach us here, that will simply [increase] the inequity we already face here for women to receive the treatment that they need and punish doctors unfairly and unnecessarily for doing their job which is to help the women that they serve," Matson said.

Hawaiʻi Republican Vice Chair Diamond Garcia said in a statement, “The leak from the Supreme Court is extremely alarming and the Court deserves to deliberate without intimidation."

"Democrats are showing once again how extreme they really are on abortion, pushing taxpayer-funded, on demand, and unlimited abortion up until the moment of birth and after. Their position on abortion is radical, cruel, and anti-science," Garcia said.

A total of 22 states already have laws on the books that would ban abortion completely or very early in a pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

"The far left wants unelected judges to impose a radical, one-size fits all abortion policy, leaving Americans without a voice. The Republican Party will always stand for the sanctity of life, speak up for the unborn, and protect vulnerable mothers," Garcia said in a statement.

At least eight states have passed anti-abortion restrictions this year: Arizona, Idaho, Florida, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kentucky and Tennessee. Some of those laws have no exceptions for rape or incest.

Supporters of anti-abortion laws want to reduce the number of women who seek the procedure and discourage them from going to other states.

At least eight states have moved to strengthen existing protections or expand abortion access this year: California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut.

About 630,000 abortions were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019, the latest data available, although information from some states is missing.

Americans have nuanced attitudes on the topic. In an AP-NORC poll conducted last June, 61% said abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances in the first trimester of pregnancy.

However, 65% said abortion should usually be illegal in the second trimester and 80% said that about the third trimester.

Many Americans said the procedure should be allowable under at least some circumstances even during the second or third trimesters.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the country will be divided into states that allow the procedure and those that ban or greatly restrict it.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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