Washington (January 22, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade:
“Half a century ago, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Roe v. Wade and affirmed through law the basic human right to abortion. In the decades since, that right stood despite repeated efforts to undermine or eliminate it. Last year, a stolen, illegitimate, far-right Supreme Court majority eviscerated the right to abortion, curtailing the freedom of millions of people across America.
“Today, young people have fewer rights than the generation before them, and that comes at a steep price. All across America, people are turned away from care, surveilled and criminalized for exploring their options, and struggle to survive without a social safety net. These injustices are experienced most by communities that bear the burden of inequality: low income, rural, disabled, Black, Brown, immigrant, and indigenous women and LGBTQ+ people. Congress must codify Roe into law and ensure reproductive choice for all. If Republicans continue to stand in the way of the will of the majority of the American people, then we must do what is necessary to protect democracy: abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court to reclaim the stolen seats and restore balance.”
In September 2022, Senator Markey sent a letter to Heartbeat international—an anti-abortion organization that supports thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the nation—demanding the organization to respond to questions on how it collects and uses women’s personal data, including sensitive health care information. In September 2022, the Senator sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately protect women’s right to privacy and their safety to confidentially receive health care. In November 2022, he sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf requesting the agency to protect the reproductive rights of Americans and to protect and expand medical access to abortion. In June 2022, Senator Markey led Democrat lawmakers in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to issue an executive order defending the right to an abortion. In May 2022, Senator Markey led colleagues in a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting that the Google Play Store and Apple App Store end the practice of mining users’ data, which could facilitate targeting of individuals seeking abortion services.
The Judiciary Act of 2021, introduced by Senator Markey in 2021, would expand the number of justices on the Court from 9 to 13 in order to rebalance the Court and begin to restore its legitimacy in the eyes of the American people. In the 117th Congress, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) cosponsored the bill. The House version had the support of 60 Members.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson in July 2022, Senator Markey and Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Right to Contraception Act, legislation to codify into law the right to contraception that the Supreme Court first recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut. The Right to Contraception Act followed Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in Dobbs, in which he urged the Court to reconsider Griswold.