On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on abortion rights in the wake of a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicating five justices are poised to reverse Roe vs. Wade. Abortion-rights supporters said that right is an individual liberty; while anti-abortion activists said there is no individual liberty unless government prevents abortions.
Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. said in opening remarks: “The decision to become a parent belongs to the individual. She may consult with her doctor or her loved ones to inform that decision, but the decision belongs to her.” Nadler said overturning Roe vs. Wade would take that power away from women and give it to the state: “Bodily autonomy is a prerequisite for liberty.”
Committee ranking member Rep Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, disagreed, stating in his opening remarks: “You never have a real liberty, you never have true freedom, if government won’t protect your most fundamental right, your right to live.” Jordan also said Democrats in the House have blocked the House from considering a Senate-passed measure providing extra security for Supreme Court justices as the justices face protests at their homes over the leaked opinion.
Americans United For Life President and CEO Catherine Glenn Foster told the House Judiciary Committee: “The truth is, abortion is always damaging and deadly. To speak for the violence of abortion is to speak for injustice.” Foster said the anti-abortion rights movement wants “a true constitutional order that equally protects all members of the human family.”
University of California Irvine School of Law Professor Michelle Goodwin told the House Judiciary Committee that if Roe vs. Wade abortion rights are lost, poor women will suffer most: “For poor women, particularly women of color, the loss will be deadly. This is the coming of the new Jane Crow.” Professor Goodwin said that over the past 15 years there have been nearly 50 bombings of abortion clinics, where doctors, nurses and security guards have been killed. in addition to threats and mass shootings at abortion clinics.
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