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Barack Obama, Donald Trump and more respond to Roe v. Wade’s reversal

Obama called the decision an “attack on essential freedoms,” and Trump said the ruling would “work out for everybody.”

Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion, Washington heavyweights are issuing statements

Former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump are among a host of political voices who have responded to the news.

Roe v. Wade provided a constitutional right to abortion since 1973. With the ruling overturned, abortion access will be determined on a state-by-state basis.

Former president Barack Obama called the reversal an attack on "essential freedoms," per a statement posted to Twitter.

"Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues — attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans," Obama tweeted.

Obama included a call to action in his Twitter thread, identifying organizing that are on the "front lines of this fight."

Obama also made a statement on the issue in May, when a draft of the SCOTUS decision was leaked. At the time, Obama said the decision to end a pregnancy should be a private one, not "subject to meddling from the state."

"The consequences of this decision would be a blow not just to women, but to all of us who believe that in a free society, there are limits to how much the government can encroach on our personal lives," he said. 

In a statement posted to Twitter on June 24, former First Lady Michelle Obama said she was "heartbroken," calling the Supreme Court decision "horrifying."

"I am heartbroken for people who just lost the fundamental right to make informed decisions about their own bodies," Obama wrote.

"I am heartbroken that we may be destined to learn the painful lessons of a time before Roe was made law of a land — a time when women risked their lives getting illegal abortions. A time when the government denied women control over their reproductive functions, forced them to move forward with pregnancies they didn't want, and then abandoned them once their babies were born," she continued.

President Donald Trump solidified the Court’s conservative majority at 6-3 by appointing Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Trump told Fox News the ruling "will work out for everybody."

“This is following the Constitution, and giving rights back when they should have been given long ago,” Trump told Fox News. “This brings everything back to the states where it has always belonged." Deflecting his own involvement, Trump said, "God made the decision.”

Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of former President Donald Trump, said he was "proud" of his father, who was in office from 2017 to 2021, for "what he has accomplished today."

Mike Pence, who served as Trump's vice president, said on Twitter that by overturning Roe v. Wade the court "righted a historic wrong," and said that "life won."

Pence indicated that the fight for anti-abortion rights would continue until a national abortion ban was achieved. “We must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land,” Pence wrote.

Other politicians in state and federal legislative branches weighed in. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, said on Twitter people will "die because of this decision," since "outlawing abortions will never make them go away."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the decision "correct" on Twitter.

Addressing journalists, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, called the decision “outrageous and heart-wrenching” and said, “Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party and their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers."

At 12:30 p.m. on June 23, President Biden addressed the nation, calling it a "sad for the court and for the country."