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Northwest elected officials, others react to Supreme Court abortion decision

Murray, Cantwell condemn the decision; Risch, McMorris Rodgers praise it

(This story will be updated throughout the day.)

Washington Senator Patty Murray is criticizing this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Roe versus Wade decision that allowed abortion. Idaho Senator Jim Risch is praising it.

In Washington, Murray says, quote, “Today, Republicans dragged this country backwards by half a century. Republicans ripped away our rights and made this generation the first generation of American women with fewer rights than their mothers.”

She went on to say, “Every American needs to understand that this is a real crisis that will affect millions of people across this country, including here in Washington state.” Washington is one of the states where abortion will continue to be legal.

Idaho’s Jim Risch released a statement this morning saying, quote, "The court’s decision recognizes that states have an interest in protecting life at all stages of development by giving Americans the power to decide this matter at the state level through their elected representatives."

And those elected representatives in Idaho approved a new trigger law that is now scheduled to go into effect in 30 days. It will criminalize abortion, with those who perform the procedure or who help others to do so subject to prison terms of between two and five years.

Abortion rights activists have also reacted to the decision. This statement is from Karl Eastlund, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.

“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what patients can do with their bodies. This dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences for the patients we serve in Idaho and across the country, forcing people to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for care or remain pregnant.

“But make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control how your future is going to be.

“It is a dark day for our country, but this is far from over. Patients should know that Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho will always fight for you, and we will not back down. Together, we will rebuild and reclaim our freedom.”

From Idaho Governor Brad Little:

"I join many in Idaho and across the country today in welcoming the high court's long awaited decision upholding state sovereignty and protecting preborn lives. The decision provides clarity around landmark cases at the center of passionate debate in our country for nearly five decades. This is now clear – the ‘right’ to an abortion was a judicial creation. Abortion is not a right expressed in the U.S. Constitution, and abortion will be entrusted to the states and their people to regulate."

He goes on: "We fully acknowledge this monumental moment in our country's history means we must confront what know will be growing needs for women and families in the months and years ahead. We absolutely must come together like never before to support women and teens facing unexpected or unwanted pregnancies. Families, churches, charities, and local and state government must stand ready to lift them up and help them and their families with access to adoption services, healthcare, financial and food assistance, counseling and treatment, and family planning. We are being called to support women and our fellow community members in extraordinary new ways, and I'm confident Idahoans are ready to meet this responsibility with love and compassion."

From tweets by Washington U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers: "This is one of the most momentous days in American history for the dignity and sanctity of every human life. This is just the beginning of a new era to define the human rights issue of our generation and to provide care, hope, and support for moms and their children at every stage of their lives. Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats want an extreme and discriminatory pro-abortion agenda to be the law of the land. Their Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act nationalizes abortions for all nine months, making America just as radical as China and North Korea. It legalizes discriminatory abortions at any stage based on a baby’s sex, race, and disability, including Down syndrome. It also overrides state laws that protect women from coercion. No part of this agenda celebrates the dignity, value, or potential of human life. Yet, nearly every Democrat in Congress is on the record for it. The Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act, which is more radical than Roe, must be stopped by a movement united behind our unalienable, God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. Every life is worth living."

Statement from U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington):

“This is a sad and tragic day in America. Millions of Americans are losing their rights to control their own bodies and their own healthcare.

“Despite decades of Republican Supreme Court nominees coming before the Judiciary Committee and saying that they believe Roe v. Wade is settled law, they have taken a sledgehammer to the right to privacy."

She continued:

“I am hopeful that Americans will respond, as we always have when our rights are taken away. The 70% of Americans who agree must have their voices heard on the constitutional right to privacy. I’m calling on all Americans who believe in this right to exercise their voice and their vote. Every legislative tool and initiative process should be considered. As we face attempts to shut down vital health services, now more than everwe need to give our support to the patients who depend on them and the medical professionals who provide them.”

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.