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Central Coast abortion rights supporters devastated by Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. – Central Coast abortion rights supporters knew the decision was coming, but were still shocked when they saw the Supreme Court's decision to officially overturn the nearly 50-year-old reproductive rights precedent set by the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The court voted in favor of a Mississippi law that bans most abortion operations after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, and Central Coast Planned Parenthood and Democratic leaders are disheartened at the court's decision.

"Well, this is a devastating day. The Supreme Court has turned its back on 50 years of precedent and taken (away) the federal right to abortion,” said Jenna Tosh, CEO of Planned Parenthood Central Coast.

Tosh said that personal medical decisions should be an individual's choice – not a lawmaker or a judge's choice.

“It is important for folks to understand that here in California, abortion will remain safe and legal. On the Central Coast, Planned Parenthood six health centers are open,” Tosh said. "In California, Planned Parenthood expects to see a 1000% increase of people from out of state coming to get an abortion."

Planned Parenthood has already seen an increase in patients from Texas after the state passed Senate Bill 8, she added.

San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party Chair Rita Casaverde said that Friday was a devastating day in the wake of the ruling.

“We are not protecting abortion. We are protecting (the) right (of) our women to make a decision about their own bodies and about their own life," Casaverde said. "I am a new parent and I can tell (you that) every parent should make their own decision of becoming a parent if they want to.”

The San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party issued a statement saying that the Supreme Court's "right-wing supermajority is determined to enforce their extreme, unpopular, and dangerous views over the will of the people."

The party's entire statement is below:

Every human being deserves the freedom to make their own decisions about their body, their family, and their future without political interference. The Supreme Court’s callous and misguided decision to eliminate that freedom by overturning Roe v. Wade is devastating for everyone who cares about individual rights and the health of millions of women – especially the Black people, people of color, and poor people who will be hit hardest by draconian abortion bans.

The simple fact is that the majority of Americans do not agree with the extremists who have taken over courts. The Supreme Court’s current supermajority was forced upon us by Republican senators who represent a minority of Americans after they stole a court seat from our nation’s first Black president. They are determined to enforce their dangerous views over the will of the people. They have already signaled their intent to roll back other landmark civil rights decisions from contraception access to protections for same-sex and even interracial marriages.

Today’s ruling lays bare the stark reality of this moment: a minority political movement of white Christian nationalists are working to redefine who has rights in this country, whose voices count, and who belongs. In recent years, this ideology — which seeks to build a country only for themselves — has been fueling violence against LGBTQ people and trans communities, banning books and the teaching of history, undermining free and fair elections, and fomenting mass shootings targeting Black people, Jewish people, immigrants, and Latinx people.

Right here in SLO County we can see that same movement attacking our voting rights, attempting to restrict the history our children can learn in school, and criminalizing marginalized people who try to speak out and protest against their abuse.

But together we are strong, and we have faith that justice will ultimately prevail. We must continue to fight for power in our state and local legislatures, at the ballot box, and in the streets to protect our rights and freedoms. We have the popular will and we have our love for each other. Together we will shut down this machinery of division and fear, and build a country where all of us – all religions, colors, genders – are safe, free, and able to thrive.

Reproductive rights supporters say they will not give up their fight.

“We are now more sure than ever that the work does not end here,” Casaverde said.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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Karen Cruz-Orduña

Karen Cruz-Orduña is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Karen, click here.

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