Delaware lawmakers who codified Roe V. Wade into state law react to leaked SCOTUS overturning opinion
DELAWARE – In a leaked opinion from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the nation’s highest court, plans to repeal Roe V. Wade and make abortion illegal in over 26 states.
Those Republican-controlled state legislatures have trigger laws in place, outlawing abortion if Roe V. Wade were to be overturned.
But Delaware is not one of them, as lawmakers pushed in 2017 to codify the right to abortion in state law. The lawmakers behind that push say, they are proud they got the bills passed, and that a worst-case scenario for federal abortion rights is what they had in mind when creating the legislation.
“It pains me to see what’s happening in other states but I commend our state and our governor for singing our law to keep abortion safe and legal in Delaware,” said Representative Debra Heffernan.
Representative Heffernan says Delaware did more than just protect abortion rights, the state also expanded the criteria for who can perform an abortion, from just doctors to nurses and physician assistants.
But, other states have gone even further. Connecticut recently created countersuit legislation to combat a recent Texas law that allows people to file civil suits against those they suspect of getting abortions.
Rep. Heffernan says that’s an option she is open to, as she wants Delaware to be a safe place for those seeking abortions, even if they are out of state.
“As a state, Delaware stands ready to welcome other residents from other states to our state because we have taken this step to protect a women’s right to choose,” she said.
And for those seeking abortions on Delmarva, Maryland’s state law does protect abortion but has more stringent restrictions on what care providers can administer them and when people can ask their providers for the service.
Virginia has no such protections, and advocates including the Center For Reproductive rates gave the state a red rating, symbolizing a total ban on abortions in the state would go into effect if Roe were to be reduced.