WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision has law makers and officials across the nation speaking out, and that is no different in the District of Columbia. Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington hosted a press conference with Mayor Muriel Bowser and District representatives on Tuesday, May 3, to discuss their position.
Almost all of the D.C. Councilmembers were present at the event, as well as Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). The message from the representatives was clear. They said they will fight for abortion rights and that this draft decision brings a greater need for D.C. to become the 51st state.
Mayor Bowser said, “Washington D.C. is a pro-choice city. Last night’s news did not change that.” The rest of the group agreed. She continued, “The bottom line is, women in the United State of America and women everywhere should have control over their own bodies.”
The debate is back in the forefront after a leaked draft decision from the Supreme Court showed a majority of Justices want to overturn Roe v. Wade. At-Large Councilmember Robert White said, “The ruling we expect from the Supreme Court will mean fewer rights for women in many states across our country. What it will not mean is the end of abortions. It will mean the end of safe abortions.”
If the landmark case is overturned, D.C. would face a unique situation, because it is not a state. Therefore, abortion laws would be decided by Congress. This fact led to a push for statehood for city leaders. Mayor Bowser said, “Even if the courts allow states to decide abortion policy, that won’t apply here to the 700,000 people who call D.C. home.”
As people on both sides of the issue gather to protest and make their voices heard, leaders said they will be right beside them, fighting every step of the way. Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George said, “Generations before us told us what we need to do in this moment. We need to stand united and we need to fight back, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to continue our fight for statehood, and when the District fights, the District will win.”
As the fight continues for leaders, they are calling on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade, which means to put it into law. There would be many hoops to jump through in order to do that, starting with ending the filibuster.