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WNY reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned

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Posted at 10:41 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 23:19:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortions.

The decision was made by the court's conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases.

While pro-life supporters are celebrating, Western New York non-profit, The Pride Center of Western New York, stated this move is "alarming".

"I find it very alarming. It takes me back to thinking of the 'why'. What is the method behind the madness," The Pride Center of Western New York executive director, Kelly Craig said.

Craig shared that her initial feelings were anger, frustration and devastation.

"For me, especially being a woman of color, a woman of faith, a woman of trans experience, who has experienced challenges at every life's capacity to have that for someone who really looks like me. That hits home differently," Craig explained.

During Friday's concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas stated he would "reconsider all of this court's substantive due process precedents" which included three established rulings.

  • Griswold v. Connecticut (1965): the right of married persons to obtain contraceptives.
  • Lawrence v. Texas (2003): the right to engage in private, consensual sexual acts.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges (2015): the right to same-sex marriage.

"The Supreme Court making decisions pertaining to our private life. It's devastating," Craig said, "Just having Clarence Thomas just even have the nerve to say that."

Former New York State Supreme Court Justice, Penny Wolfgang said the ruling is shocking but is not surprised due to the talk around it for the last month.

Wolfgang said, "The idea of the precedent that something we have lived with all these years and we kind of took for granted, could be changed in a moment."

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She sheds light on the fact that abortion rights are not written in the constitution, which means the ball is now in the court of each state.

Wolfgang added, "Each state is going to make their own determination based on who is elected to be the legislators, in that particular state. Who's the governor in that particular state, whether they are going to grant the rights for an abortion to legalize it or not."

According to the Guttmacher Institute, which is a pro-choice research organization, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion.

There are 13 states with a "trigger ban", meaning an abortion ban will take effect since Roe no longer applies at the federal level.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul spoke Friday, stating she foreshadowed this decision which is why she signed the nation-leading legislative package on June 13, to immediately protect abortions rights in the state.

"Rights of women are sacred in New York, the rights of women will never be jeopardized under my watch in this state. You can count on that. But as our sisters across this nation who've been stripped of a right and we know that they'll be finding refuge, a safe harbor here in our state," Gov. Hochul said.

Craig emphasized the importance of community during this time and wants people to provide a nonjudgmental community.

"Don't give up hope. Don't give up the fight. Don't give up on equality. We've done a lot of work for it to be turned around," Craig said. "I just want people to know that we stand by our core values to be nonjudgmental, to be here, to provide a space for community where you can just come and be heard. There is a place for not only in this space but there is a place for you in this country."

"I don't believe that there should be any reaction, like physical or violent reaction. What we have to do-- what people have to do is change the law, modify the law, write new laws. Whatever they wish or whatever they want to do but peacefully," Wolfgang added.