(AP Photo)

By J. K. Schmid
Special to the AFRO

Rep. Ayann Pressley (D-MA) spoke out on behalf of abortion rights, Sept. 30.

Rep. Pressley is chair of the Pro Choice Caucus’s Abortion Rights and Access Taskforce and a member of the House Oversight Committee.

“Let me make it plain,” Rep. Pressley said in her opening remarks. “Abortion care is a constitutional right. And this Pro-Choice Democratic majority House, Senate, and White House can and must do everything possible to protect and guarantee and it as such.”

The remarks came during a House Oversight Committee hearing making inquiries into the ramifications of the Texas anti-abortion bill, SB 8, that passed in May.

Perhaps the most restrictive anti-abortion bill since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case opinion finding abortion bans violate a woman’s right to privacy, concerns are mounting that a SB 8 could serve as a model for other state legislatures.

“We find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented wave of coordinated attacks on our reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, and Texas’s horrendous and extreme SB8 abortion ban underscores the urgency of this moment,” Pressley said. “The year 2021 has been the most devastating for abortion rights in American history. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that robbed us of more than 690,000 lives and disproportionately impacted our most vulnerable and Black and brown communities, anti- abortion legislators in 47 states focused on legislating hurt and harm to push this critical health care out of reach.”

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined an injunction at the time of the bill’s passage, when a case and plaintiff will reach the Supreme Court, and whether or not an appeal will be heard is indeterminate at the time of this writing.

“SCOTUS had the chance to call SB8 for what it is: a blatant violation of the constitutional rights of nearly 7 million Texans of reproductive age,” Pressley said. “But from voting rights, to housing, to reproductive rights, it is clear: the Supreme Court is no longer on the side of justice, nor is it on the side of the people.”

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