Today the Supreme Court acted not to expand, but to take away the rights and freedoms of the American people for the first time in our nation’s history.
Today, six members of the Supreme Court have inserted themselves between patients and doctors. They have interrupted these private conversations with far-right legal principles that limit personal healthcare decisions like when to start a family.
This is an infuriating trampling of privacy that should anger every single American, and it puts many people at risk.
As a person of faith, I have faith in God first. But I also hold faith in the people – in my brothers, sisters, and neighbors. I have faith in America, and the liberties and freedoms that we hold dear. I have faith that we must all have the chance to make the right choices for ourselves, our health and our families. That’s what freedom is all about.
For Louisianians, we have entered a dark new stage of our state’s history. New restrictions have been triggered outlawing all abortion in our state, with minimal exceptions for safety or circumstance.
Even under Roe we were already failing our mothers – the United States has the worst maternal mortality rate among developed nations, and Black women face disproportionately terrible outcomes.
It breaks my heart that those who already had the fewest resources in Louisiana and many other states are now left without any options at all. This is especially true for low-income, Black, Indigenous, and women of color in our state who already faced devastatingly high rates of maternal mortality and poor maternal health outcomes.
For them and many others, the post-Roe reality we now face is even more perilous than it was before. This new reality not only includes forced birth, but potentially death from unsafe medical procedures, or a dangerous pregnancy itself.
This ruling and wider debate is not about life, it’s about control. If it were truly about life, our nation and Louisiana would be investing in prenatal care, early childhood education, food assistance, universal pre-K, and other policies that improve outcomes for children.
Now, we must ask ourselves the question: if some rights are not sacred in this nation, are any rights sacred in this nation?
Trump planted far-right judges into our judiciary, and now we are witnessing the first sprouts of those evil seeds. Unfortunately, there is more harvest to come.
The courts gave women the right to birth control, the courts gave women the right to open their own credit card. The courts gave everyone in America the right to marry the person they love, regardless of race or gender.
Just like reproductive freedom, many states like Louisiana still have original laws on the books and only the Supreme Court prevents these laws from snapping back into effect.
Elections have consequences, but those consequences should never be the deprivation of rights once given. This decision is lawless and flies in the face of precedent. Not only the precedent of Roe and Casey, but every precedent in American history.
In Congress, I will continue to do all I can to expand access to the full complement of reproductive healthcare and fight to re-instate the rights and freedoms of the American people.