U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell led a pro-abortion rally outside the Planned Parenthood facility in downtown Hayward Saturday morning, one of many held Friday and Saturday in the Bay Area and across the country in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We can be allies to women in other states,” Swalwell said in an interview immediately after the event on A Street near Foothill Boulevard.
Swalwell’s statement was consistent with a commitment expressed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington Friday to protect patients from other states seeking reproductive health care as well as safe access to contraceptive and abortion access.
Under the agreement, the states would also refuse to cooperate with states that have laws punishing either people seeking reproductive health care or doctors who provide reproductive care services like abortion.
Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization rolled back the court’s 1973 ruling that the Constitution broadly gives women the individual liberty to terminate a pregnancy.
As a result of the ruling, several states are expected to pass sweeping bans on abortion that do not include exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or cases in which the mother’s life is at risk.
“We are one election away from a federal ban on abortion,” Swalwell added. “This could hit us in the next two years.” The U.S. representative estimated that about 100 people attended the Hayward rally Saturday.
Swalwell said a 17-year-old high school student asked him what she could do about the Supreme Court decision.
“I told her, ‘Before you know it, you will be able to vote, and that is your agency,’” Swalwell said.
“Women who have fought for abortion rights for 50 years were there (at the rally),” Swalwell said. “There was a confluence of generations supporting women’s reproductive rights.”
Candelaria Vargas, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood MarMonte, also spoke at the rally.
Source: NBC Bay Area