Arizona Legislative Democrats, including Part Chairperson/State Senator Raquel Teran held a press conference today at the Capitol Rose Garden condemning the United States Supreme Court overturning of Roe v Wade.

Some of the other attendees included State Legislators Kelli Butler, Mitzi Epstein, Jennifer Jermaine, Jennifer Longdon, Christine Marsh, Pamela Powers Hanley, Judy Schwiebert, and Reginald Bolding

In her opening remarks, Chairperson Teran called today “a sad day for the state and the nation”  and pointed out that “people are angry and rightfully so.”

Saying “we will not calm down” and “we are feeling betrayed,” Senator Teran blasted a Supreme Court extreme majority that “was more concerned with regulating our bodies than guns.”

One of the guest speakers, the Reverend Dr. Cathy Patterson would point out at the end of the press conference that these same Republicans who were so concerned about being told they had to wear masks during the height of the Coronavirus had no qualms about “wanting to tell women how to control their bodies.”

Citing a poll from Arizona Public Opinion Pulse that showed 87 percent of Arizonans favored abortion services under some (46 percent) or all (41 percent) circumstances, Teran pointed out that the vast majority of people “do not want government interfering in health decisions.”

She also singled out current or aspiring Republican Leaders like Doug Ducey, Kari Lake, Blake Masters, Jim Lammon, and Mark Brnovich. for being “hell bent on limiting freedom” even at the cost of human life. She also accused them of being, not the pro-life party, but the “pro control and anti-freedom” one that is a “fringe (scared) minority that vies to control is.” 

Teran continued by stating “Arizonans are not with you (the Republicans) and will not support their extreme agenda.” 

She vowed to help elect candidates this fall like Julie Gunnigle, Kris Mayes, Mark Kelly, and other pro choice statewide, congressional, and legislative pro choice candidates.

State Senator Victoria Steele then spoke and echoed Teran’s themes of the people being angry and disgusted with the Supreme Court decision to take a way a woman’s right to choose.

She also asserted that this Court decision is not just about taking away a woman’s “bodily autonomy,” but also an attack on her “financial security and economic future.”

Furthermore, Steele sounded the alarm of further potential reactionary actions by the Court after hearing about Clarence Thomas concurring opinion threatening to consider cases that would overturn same sex marriage and the ability to obtain contraceptive devices.

Perhaps the most touching and heart wrenching speech was delivered by State Representative Jennifer Jermaine who revealed that she had once miscarried an unborn child with no possibility that medical intervention could have saved the baby.

Wanting to remind the audience that many abortions are not voluntary, Representative Jermaine pointed out that the same doctors who treated her during her miscarriage could be prosecuted under the the new SB1164 law signed by Doug Ducey because there is currently no state exception for medical viability of the fetus/newborn baby, rape, or incest.

Jermaine called such demands to carry a child with no viability to term “cruel and heartless” where a mother has to “see her newborn die within minutes of birth.”

Saying “families like mine will suffer the most,” Representative Jermaine stressed that “abortion is health care” and “a very personal decision government does not belong in.” 

The last speaker, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Brittany Fonteno told reporters that until they receive legal direction, they will not perform any abortion services in Arizona, leaving “patients (including 30 in one Planned Parenthood clinic just today) without critical medical attention.”

She also said that they would refer legal options to patients as soon as possible.

 

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