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Caribbean American legislator ‘relieved’ by US Supreme Court ruling on abortion


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Jumaane Williams

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, CMC – A Caribbean American legislator here says he’s “relieved” that the United States Supreme Court has blocked a restrictive Louisiana law on abortion.

In the case, June Medical Services v. Gee, the US Supreme Court, the country’s highest court on Thursday voted 5-4 to block the law that opponents say could have left Louisiana with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions.

“The Supreme Court blocked an attempt from conservatives to institute a back-door ban on abortion,” New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation on Saturday.

“I am relieved by their decision in this case to protect the rights of women to access safe and legal abortions, but I am not complacent,” added the representative for the predominantly 45th Council District in Brooklyn, New York.

Williams noted that four justices voted in the case “to almost directly overturn the court’s precedent protecting this access in a 2016 case, including Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination I protested in the streets outside Trump Tower (in Manhattan).

“Precedent, law and decency are no obstacle to their goals of chipping away at the protections secured in Roe v. Wade, and that is why we must continue to fight to institute these protections on a state and local level,” Williams said.

Roe v. Wade is a landmark US Supreme Court case in 1973 authorizing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

“In passing the Reproductive Health Act on a state level (New York) to codify these protections, we have made major gains, and we cannot lose them, but rather must push forward for reproductive rights,” Williams said.

In my passing the New York City Boss Bill, he said “we implemented protections against discrimination based on exercising those very rights- protections the state should expand.

“In the streets, we will continue to fight any effort to tear down the rights that generations of activists have helped secure for women in this country,” added Williams, a candidate for New York City Public Advocate. “We cannot rely on a conservative court, we have to act.”

In Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority.

The court did not give any reasons for its temporary stay.

Legal analysts say the Supreme Court is likely to hear a challenge to the law on the merits in its next term, which begins in October.

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