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Anita Hill says Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is indicator of what could happen to individuals’ civil rights

<i>Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Audible</i><br/>Anita Hill speaks onstage as Audible presents:
Getty Images for Audible
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Audible
Anita Hill speaks onstage as Audible presents: "In Love and Struggle" at Audible's Minetta Lane Theater in New York City in 2020.

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Americans should not just consider how the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade impacts women’s rights, but also how it affects individuals’ civil rights, Anita Hill said in an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace.

Asked by Wallace if the decision by Justice Clarence Thomas to vote in the 5-4 majority in favor of overturning the landmark ruling makes it harder for her to reconcile his time on the high court, Hill said the decision was about a “shrinking of rights.”

Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment in testimony during his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Thomas has denied the allegations.

She told Wallace that the conservative Thomas is not the only one on the bench who wants to assess access to contraception and protections for gender identity, adding that “the votes are there to move us in that direction.”

“I believe that’s why we should — how we should be looking at Dobbs, not just as an indicator of what is going to happen on reproductive rights, but also what will happen to us as a country in terms of how much we value the civil rights of individuals and especially marginalized people,” she said on “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” which is set to air on CNN on Sunday night.

Since June — when the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion — several states have moved to enshrine abortion protections in their constitutions. And after Thomas’ concurring opinion on the decision where he called for rulings on contraception, same-sex marriage and other rights to be revisited, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aiming to safeguard access to abortion care and contraceptives.

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, called the Respect for Marriage Act, in a landmark bipartisan vote amid concern the Supreme Court might overturn its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized same-sex marriage. The House would need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

Hill also told Wallace she was “shocked” to get a call from Thomas’ wife, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who she said in 2010 left a voicemail message requesting an apology from the law professor.

“I had really no idea what to make of it. But I knew this, I knew that I did not want to entertain that kind of call either on the voicemail or face to face, that it was not something that clearly, I was not going to apologize for 1991,” Hill said. “And I didn’t in fact believe that the call was a sincere attempt to reconcile anything, and that I was going to do what I needed to do to stop it from happening.”

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