In honor of the recent anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision which ruled that a woman's relationship with her doctor was a private affair, State Senator Antoine M. Thompson (D-Buffalo/Niagara Falls) today warned of the continued challenge to women's reproductive rights posed by an increasingly conservative Supreme Court.
"It's been 34 years since the country's highest court wisely handed down its decision that women's health care should be in the hands of women and their physicians, not politicians, " Senator Thompson said. "The ability to decide when and whether to become a parent belongs to women, who must be free to answer for themselves that all-important question."
Senator Thompson noted that much has happened in the decades since Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right of women to choose a safe and legal abortion. Nationally, efforts to restrict or outlaw the procedure have endured. Some fear the battle is just now heating up.
"There is no question that the Supreme Court appointments of Justice Roberts and Justice Alito could undermine the constitutional rights protected by Roe v. Wade," Senator Thompson said. "Sadly, what should have long ago become settled law is once again under legal assault, with opponents of women's rights attacking at both the state and federal levels."
The Buffalo lawmaker and many of his colleagues in the Senate Democratic Conference remain firmly committed to upholding a woman's right to choose.
"Our world today is filled with serious threats to reproductive rights," Senator Thompson said. "That's why those of us on the state level who believe in a woman's right to choose must vigorously defend the principles of Roe v. Wade. If the Supreme Court abandons the principle that women have an inherent right to control their own bodies, the State Legislature will be New Yorker's last line of defense."
Senator Thompson concluded: "The danger of chipping away at the principles of reproductive freedom is very real. Yet this is a fundamental right, one that most New Yorkers want protected. We must recall, as we reflect on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, that there are forces in America working to dismantle this historic precedent. Be assured, my Democratic colleagues and I are fighting back. Thirty-four years after the fact, we won't allow New York to take a giant step backwards."