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Local congresswomen, speaking in Mountain View, say overturning Roe v. Wade threatens democracy

'If we think that the erosion of individual liberty is over, think again,' said Rep. Zoe Lofgren

U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren speaks about rights at stake following the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on the future of Roe v. Wade, at a press conference outside City Hall in Mountain View on May 6, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren declared that the Supreme Court going against public opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade represents a threat to democracy and called for the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act at a press conference on Friday, May 6, outside Mountain View City Hall.

A draft opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito and backed by a majority of justices threatens to overturn the landmark decision that guarantees Americans a right to abortion. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) and Lofgren (D-San Jose) invited 14 other women to stand with them as they spoke. They included Mountain View City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga, who also spoke, along with Lauren Babb, the vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and Fiona Walters, the president of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association.

Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez stood with the women in a show of support.

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo speaks about rights at stake following the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on the future of Roe v. Wade, at a press conference outside City Hall in Mountain View on May 6, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

"I think when there is a cleavage between the highest court in the land and the people, that confidence can turn to chaos," Eshoo said. “A lack of confidence in our institutions, in our branches of government, is an unraveling of democracy.”

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has allocated $3 million in funds for Planned Parenthood as well as $4 million to behavioral health services, in anticipation of people coming to California from states where abortions are banned. Babb said that 80 out-of-state patients have already come to Planned Parenthood Mar Monte after the passing of Texas Senate Bill 8, which restricted abortions to the point that they are virtually impossible to obtain.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that California will become a sanctuary state for those seeking an abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Even with California’s efforts to codify the right to access abortion services, Lofgren said that there are other impacts of the draft decision that was leaked on Monday night that could affect people.

"If we think that the erosion of individual liberty is over, think again," Lofgren said. "As Anna (Eshoo) has said, the right to privacy underpins a number of court decisions that give liberty to Americans."

Several Supreme Court rulings, such as the right to same-sex marriage, interracial marriage and access to contraception are all based on the right to privacy. Overturning a key case, according to Lofgren, could threaten these other precedents as well.

Eshoo and Lofgren used the event to lobby for the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives in September but has not yet passed the Senate, would make abortion legal in all 50 states and address the limitations placed on abortions in some states. It would also address specific challenges that affect marginalized communities when it comes to reproductive health.

“Justice (Alito) says that the Constitution does not explicitly state privacy or abortion (as rights),” Eshoo said. “Mr. Justice, when the Constitution was first written, women were not even in it.”

U.S. Rep Anna Eshooe, right, listen to U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, left, speak about rights at stake following the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on the future of Roe v. Wade, at a press conference outside City Hall in Mountain View on May 6, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

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Local congresswomen, speaking in Mountain View, say overturning Roe v. Wade threatens democracy

'If we think that the erosion of individual liberty is over, think again,' said Rep. Zoe Lofgren

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, May 6, 2022, 6:30 pm

Reps. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren declared that the Supreme Court going against public opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade represents a threat to democracy and called for the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act at a press conference on Friday, May 6, outside Mountain View City Hall.

A draft opinion penned by Justice Samuel Alito and backed by a majority of justices threatens to overturn the landmark decision that guarantees Americans a right to abortion. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) and Lofgren (D-San Jose) invited 14 other women to stand with them as they spoke. They included Mountain View City Council member Margaret Abe-Koga, who also spoke, along with Lauren Babb, the vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and Fiona Walters, the president of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association.

Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez stood with the women in a show of support.

"I think when there is a cleavage between the highest court in the land and the people, that confidence can turn to chaos," Eshoo said. “A lack of confidence in our institutions, in our branches of government, is an unraveling of democracy.”

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has allocated $3 million in funds for Planned Parenthood as well as $4 million to behavioral health services, in anticipation of people coming to California from states where abortions are banned. Babb said that 80 out-of-state patients have already come to Planned Parenthood Mar Monte after the passing of Texas Senate Bill 8, which restricted abortions to the point that they are virtually impossible to obtain.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that California will become a sanctuary state for those seeking an abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Even with California’s efforts to codify the right to access abortion services, Lofgren said that there are other impacts of the draft decision that was leaked on Monday night that could affect people.

"If we think that the erosion of individual liberty is over, think again," Lofgren said. "As Anna (Eshoo) has said, the right to privacy underpins a number of court decisions that give liberty to Americans."

Several Supreme Court rulings, such as the right to same-sex marriage, interracial marriage and access to contraception are all based on the right to privacy. Overturning a key case, according to Lofgren, could threaten these other precedents as well.

Eshoo and Lofgren used the event to lobby for the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives in September but has not yet passed the Senate, would make abortion legal in all 50 states and address the limitations placed on abortions in some states. It would also address specific challenges that affect marginalized communities when it comes to reproductive health.

“Justice (Alito) says that the Constitution does not explicitly state privacy or abortion (as rights),” Eshoo said. “Mr. Justice, when the Constitution was first written, women were not even in it.”

Comments

Parent of Los Lomitas and La Entrada grads
Registered user
Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 9, 2022 at 3:02 pm
Parent of Los Lomitas and La Entrada grads, Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
Registered user
on May 9, 2022 at 3:02 pm

Before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the people's elected representatives in each state decided what type of laws related to abortion would be in effect in their state.

Roe v. Wade took away the ability of the people's elected representatives to make those laws.

If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the people's elected representatives in each state will again decide what type of laws related to abortion will be in effect in their state.

Sounds like a restoration of democracy to me.


Menlo Voter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 9, 2022 at 5:31 pm
Menlo Voter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 9, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Parent:

except it is taking away constitutional right. It used to be that some states would vote for slavery. Would you be ok with that?


Dave Boyce
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 9, 2022 at 7:15 pm
Dave Boyce, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on May 9, 2022 at 7:15 pm

How about what the Republicans are doing in state houses across the country to make voting difficult? That make life increasingly difficult for LGBTQ citizens? That block discussion of our nation’s most grievous sin? Does all this threaten democracy, Ms. Eshoo? These developments been threatening democracy for months and months, right out in front where everyone could see them, issues that didn’t require a whistleblower, issues on which grandstanding Republicans have effectively poisoned the playing field with their UNANSWERED jeremiads!!!

SILENCE!!! That how establishment Democrats responded! Bringing squirt guns to knife fights, YET AGAIN!!!

Yes, Roe being overturned would threaten our way of life, given the Right’s agenda and its ominous resonance with “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But speaking out now about threats to democracy on a topic that is virally important but nevertheless peripherally relevant is way, way too late.

The horse is out of the barn!

If this abortion issue galvanizes voters to reject the GOP in the midterms, then establishment Democrats like Ms. Eshoo will have caught a break. But they won’t deserve credit.


Dave Boyce
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 9, 2022 at 7:20 pm
Dave Boyce, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on May 9, 2022 at 7:20 pm

I meant Roe being overturned is “vitally” important. I’m a complete novice in discussing abortion, but I hope I sufficiently appreciate how vitally important reproductive rights are to women’s bodily autonomy, their freedom, their lives.


Concerned Citizen in Menlo Park
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 9, 2022 at 9:21 pm
Concerned Citizen in Menlo Park, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on May 9, 2022 at 9:21 pm

"A lack of confidence in our institutions, in our branches of government, is an unraveling of democracy.”

It's nice to see this rather obvious point acknowledged, but echoing some of Dave Boyce's remarks, it is "too little, too late." Confidence in our nation's institutions, in my opinion, has been on the decline for YEARS.

While we may disagree about what portion of the blame to assign, and where to assign it, for this destructive development, it's my belief that large swaths of the political duopoly have been more than content to allow the decay so long as the players of the game remain in power.

Gerrymandering by states (hardly a "return to democracy, if you ask me), the quid pro quo dynamic that moneyed interests and their Super-PACs create, and a revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street have long been undermining confidence in our institutions.

All the while, our elected officials are content to grandstand and feed us ideological pablum so long as we remain distracted enough by our respective "pet issues" to ignore the erosion of the integrity in the PROCESS.

I've been writing to Representative Eshoo for years, asking her to take the decay of people's confidence seriously. It's a shame that something like this is what has caused it to come into focus.


Thoughtful
Registered user
Atherton: other
on May 10, 2022 at 8:29 am
Thoughtful, Atherton: other
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 8:29 am

I have no problem with abortion rights, as long as it's not ridiculously late in the pregnancy.

There was a certain genius in the construction of the U.S. constitution that is very relevant to the unprecedented levels of tension in this country today. 3/4th of all state legislatures are required to amend it. If that threshold isn't met, states get to decide how issues not addressed by the constitution are legislated in their states.

I can't see any reasonable reference to an abortion right in the constitution. Yes, you can try to shoe horn it in through the broad application of ideas like "privacy", but that basically opens up the Supreme Court, however politically appointed it may be from time to time (and its political makeup has varied during my lifetime) to function as 3/4th of the state legislatures on just about any issue there can possibly be.

We live in a big country and there is considerable difference in the culture of our various states. It's not healthy for Californians to be telling Alabama what to do (nor vice versa). It's going to lead to a complete fracture of our country that is well underway.

For this reason, I think overturning Roe vs. Wade makes sense, because it was never a constitutional issue. I don't want 51% of the country, at any point in time, being able to tell every state's residents how to run their lives, and at an abstract level, that is what this issue is really about (making the 3/4 threshold a simple majority).


Not-Jeff
Registered user
Hillview Middle School
on May 10, 2022 at 12:46 pm
Not-Jeff, Hillview Middle School
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 12:46 pm

'Parent of Los Lomitas and La Entrada grads' wrote: "If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the people's elected representatives in each state will again decide what type of laws related to abortion will be in effect in their state.

Sounds like a restoration of democracy to me."


This is a tragically naive assumption of...not only what will happen, but what is ALREADY happening. Some of the states that heavily restrict or are attempting to effectively outlaw abortion outright are attempting to implement laws that enforce abortion restrictions IN OTHER STATES.


The actions by some of these states takes "away the ability of the people's elected representatives to make those laws." Using 'Parent...'s own words, these anti-choice legislatures are destroying the very democracy 'Parent...' claims these actions enable.

Oh, the irony.


MenloVoter.
Registered user
Menlo Park: other
on May 10, 2022 at 1:49 pm
MenloVoter., Menlo Park: other
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 1:49 pm

"I don't want 51% of the country, at any point in time, being able to tell every state's residents how to run their lives, and at an abstract level, that is what this issue is really about (making the 3/4 threshold a simple majority)."

Except that is EXACTLY what the right wing that wants to overturn Roe V Wade wants and intends to do. They want to be able to tell women how to run their lives. So, I don't understand how you think overturning Roe will result in one part of the country not telling the rest of the country how to run their lives.


Alan
Registered user
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 10, 2022 at 3:34 pm
Alan, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 3:34 pm

It's always been a problem, that the right to privacy - inferred in the Roe vs. Wade decision - was never explicitly specified in the Constitution. It would've been better if it had been explicitly enumerated. The fact that it wasn't always left this ruling vulnerable; people who believe abortion should remain legal (such as myself) need to come to terms with this.


Not-Jeff
Registered user
Hillview Middle School
on May 10, 2022 at 10:12 pm
Not-Jeff, Hillview Middle School
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 10:12 pm

Ugh, you people...

To coin some of the alt-white/Trumpers/anti-vaccine nuts...you people are sheep.

Stop regurgitating the 'never explicitly specified' talking points being spewed by these intellectual lightweights. You're better than that.

There are numerous rights we consider self-evident that have never been explicitly specified in the Constitution. Alito and other alt-white lightweights spew that when they have no logic or facts to defend their faulty assertions.

These alt-white self-proclaimed 'conservatives' preach a 'texturalist/originalist' interpretation of the Constitution/Bill-of-Rights, yet conveniently cast that grounding principle aside when it doesn't suit their personal or political activist agenda. I'll demonstrate.

Here's an example of an 'originalist' interpretation of the Constitution/Bill-of-Rights. From the 14th Amendment:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States"

'born' in a Conservative Republican Originalist interpretation, has a very very clear definition that is undeniably unambiguous by the 18th century authors of the 14th Amendment. Ergo, it is equally undeniably clear that the 14th amendment ONLY protects those who are 'naturalized' or 'born', neither of which applies to a fetus, which by originalist definition of 'born' is nowhere near close to qualifying for 14th-Amendment protection.

Do you know who IS afforded protection by the 14th Amendment, by any Originalist or Conservative interpretation of the Constitution?

The mother.

Case closed.


Dave Boyce
Registered user
Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 10, 2022 at 11:10 pm
Dave Boyce, Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
Registered user
on May 10, 2022 at 11:10 pm

To be completely accurate, the 14th Amendment came about in the 19th century, after the Civil War and the 13th Amendment that officially ended slavery.

Apologies for being a stickler.


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