Early Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and former president Barack Obama called the decision an attack on American freedoms.
“Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent,” Obama’s statement begins, “It relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues — attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”
“For more than a month, we’ve known this day was coming,” Obama continued, “but that doesn’t make it any less devastating.”
The two-term president also offered actionable words, calling out Planned Parenthood, United States of Women and “many other groups” who have “been sounding the alarm on this issue for years — and will continue to be on the front lines of this fight.”
Obama previously released a more lengthy statement when the draft decision of the Supreme Court leaked in May.
“The consequences of this decision would be a blow not just to women, but to all of us who believe that in a free society, there are limits to how much the government can encroach on our personal lives,” Obama said. “And this decision is unlikely to significantly reduce abortions, which have been steadily going down over the past several decades thanks in large part to better access to contraception and education.”
The statement continued, “Instead, as we’ve already begun to see in states with restrictive abortion laws, those women with means would travel to states where abortion remains legal and safe. Meanwhile, those without enough money or access to transportation or ability to take off from school or work would face the same circumstances most women faced before Roe, desperately seeking out illegal abortions that inevitably pose grave risks to their health, their future ability to bear children, and sometimes their lives.”