Great stuff by the Arlington County Board (see below for video), which earlier this afternoon responded to the outrageous, extremist Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade (and with it kicking back to the individual states whether or not women in their states will have bodily autonomy, reproductive health and freedom). See below for the comments by the County Board members on a resolution committing to the legislative and regulatory protection of safe abortion care. Thank you!
- Chair Katie Cristol: “My colleagues and I are here today to affirm two commitments. The first is a commitment to the legislative and regulatory protection of safe abortion care…And we are going to continue to advocate vocally to the General Assembly that it uphold the Reproductive Health Protection Act of 2022, which repealed unnecessary barriers to abortion and to head off any further restrictions on the right to a safe abortion…We are going to continue to advocate at every federal avenue, legislatively as well as regulatory. We join with others in calling on the FDA to assert its preemptive approval authority of abortion pills…and remove unnecessary FDA requirements…Additionally, we want to affirm our ongoing to public health as well as to reproductive health care in this community…We are finally committed to collaboration with our Commonwealth’s Attorney, who has announced…her own commitment to ensuring that policies will protect any Arlington resident or visitor or practitioner making the personal, medical decision to seek or provide or obtain an abortion. In short, we are joining with the many Arlingtonians who are now expressing their anger and frustration and their fear at the Dobbs v Jackson decision and at Gov. Youngkin’s threat to abortion rights in Virginia. We are committed as this Board to mitigating and preventing the public health crisis that these actions could precipitate and we will advocate for the protection of the fundamental human right to bodily autonomy.”
- Board member Matt DeFerranti: “The decision seems fundamentally inhumane to me…We will advocate and we will work for the reversal of this decision because it is not consistent with valuing the health of more than half of our population.”
- Board member Libby Garvey: “I came of age…at a time when women were second-class citizens…that I was less than the boys…there weren’t women in public office…We started fighting for our rights…And it’s part of the reason I think this will not stand, because this is now being inflicted on women who weren’t brainwashed and raised like that. Women are trained and raised to be people…I think we are going to see new efforts to get around one of the newest forms of Fugitive Slave Laws…We’re going to set up our newer form of the Underground Railway, and I’m going to be happy to…help people in need…have their rights to bodily autonomy…It’s not going to stand. Slavery didn’t stand, women got voting rights, Prohibition didn’t stand…society does evolve…People who force women to be pregnant are NOT ‘pro-life’. People who are for giving guns to people who are too young, too inexperienced, too unhinged to have them, they are not ‘pro-life,’ that’s pro-death if you ask me. People who do not support healthcare for all are not ‘pro-life’. People who do not support saving our planet and doing what we can for climate change, they are not ‘pro-life.’ Nobody who holds any of those ideas, I don’t care what they think…say about an embryo, they are not ‘pro-life’. And we cannot let them keep that term…We need to start speaking really plainly about what’s ‘pro-life’ and what frankly in my view is pro-death.”
- Board Vice Chair Christian Dorsey: “I certainly share in your concern, your dismay, your disgust and your repudiation of the Dobbs decision. And it strikes me…it’s a stark reminder that in our country, the ability of people who have been marginalized and denied autonomy and rights…is not an uncommon history, we know it very well. But what this makes this particular action of the Supreme Court quite striking is that we rarely if ever…allow for the expansion of rights and the recognition of autonomy and then claw it back. And that’s what’s so particularly galling. And when you think of what this means on the ground, it’s essentially been left up to states to determine to what extent women are autonomous, that that’s a state decision to be made by legislators and the political process in each of our 50 states. It’s really hard to explain. It’s really hard to understand how that works…it just doesn’t make any sense for a country that purports to be what we purport to be…There’s an extreme pressure on local governments to actually make sure that the people who we represent who are part of our communities…have access to all the best information and the best care…We will support you in making the autonomous decisions that even though our Supreme Court has decided you are not empowered to make, we will absolutely uphold your right to do so.”
- Board member Takis Karantonis: “It is something that doesn’t happen very often in modern democracies, to have a fundamental constitutional right removed – removed – by a body that has also removed several other protections in an amazing spree in the last weeks of June. I don’t have words to describe how disappointing and infuriating this is. And I think that not only women in Arlington have felt that…they continue to protest and organize, and our job is to stand with them and to affirm that we stand with them, with their reproductive rights, that we’ll do everything in our power to provide the care, to provide a safe place in…Arlington, Virginia for those who seek care to receive it as human beings…despite the political decision of the Supreme Court.”