U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) joined an abortion-rights protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court building Friday, where she said that women will “defy” the court after it overturned its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“You see this turnout here? You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Waters told Reuters journalists who were livestreaming from the protest. “Women are going to control their bodies no matter how they try and stop us.”
“The hell with the Supreme Court! We will defy them!” she declared.
“Women will be in control of their bodies, and if they think black women are intimidated or afraid, they got another thought coming. Black women will be out in droves! We will be out by the thousands! We will be out by the millions! We’re going to make sure we fight for the right to control our own bodies!”
In a historic 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court overturned its previous decisions in Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, ending all federal protections for abortion.
“The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority.
The consequence of this decision is that all 50 states will individually decide how to regulate abortions. In pro-life states under Republican leadership, abortion is likely to be heavily restricted or outright banned. Indeed, thirteen GOP-led states have so-called trigger laws banning all or most abortions, which can now go into effect. Missouri was the first state to do so Friday.
Democrat-led states, like Waters’ home state of California, are more than likely to take the reverse course of action and dramatically expand abortion access. In May, after a draft version of Alito’s opinion was leaked to the media, California and New York advanced legislation to expand abortion access and even fund abortions with taxpayer dollars.
Waters vowed that Democrats would take more steps to protect abortion after the court’s ruling.
“We’re going to take every effort and try everything we can to overcome what they have done to us today,” she said.
Earlier at the protest, she said the left would rally women to turn out in the upcoming midterm elections and promised legislation would be forthcoming to protect abortion rights.
“We’re not intimidated. We’re going to fight. We’re not going backwards, we’re going forward. I don’t care what that vote is today, they cannot stop us. We’re going to control our lives,” Waters said.
“We’re going to do everything that we can possibly do. We gonna continue to organize. We’re going to turn out a huge vote of women. We’re going to see if we can get something on the ballot real soon.”