MSNBC host Katy Tur pressed California Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis on her calls for Americans to “defy” the Supreme Court.
Kounalakis said Friday that the Court deciding to overturn the 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade is “delegitimizing the Court” as a “powerful institution for American democracy” and called on women to come to California in order to legally access abortions.
“Who is Clarence Thomas? Is he my Saudi Arabian father who’s gonna tell me what I can and can’t do with my body, with my life? That’s what this is coming down to,” she said. “These people have a misconception about who is going to listen to them and so my message to the women and to anyone seeking their reproductive freedom across this country is to come to California, you will have that freedom here. Be prepared to live in defiance of these six people who think that they have the right to tell you what you can do.”
“Are you telling people to break the law?” Tur pressed.
Kounalakis answered that she is telling people they can access abortion in California and that it may be held “in defiance” by their own state laws banning the procedure. Tur pointed out that the justices filing the majority ruling were confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, who in turn were elected by the people. (RELATED: The Last Time Liberals Freaked Out This Much, Hillary Lost Pennsylvania)
She then asked the lieutenant governor about what message she has for the 80 million people in the U.S. who do not vote. Kounalakis called on voters, particularly in red states, to vote in order to enact policy changes and said that California is open to them.
“Lieutenant governor, I got to ask you something, because I understand where you’re coming from, where you believe you’re coming from, but in telling people to defy the Supreme Court, are you not worried about what message that sends for anything else the Supreme Court might rule on that you might agree with and others might not agree with?” Tur interjected.
“Katy, it’s not my words,” she replied. “Their own actions are undermining their legitimacy. This is a constitutional right that women have exercised for 50 years. I don’t believe that it is legitimate for them to take that right away from us. They cannot tell millions of American women what to do with their bodies. This is not going to stop abortion, it is only going to make it more dangerous and harder to access. Women know they have a God-given right to autonomy over their body, and they’re going to seek it out.”
Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ruled that abortion is not “implicitly protected” under the Constitution, specifically the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely — the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Alito wrote. “That provision has been held to guarantee some rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but any such right must be ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition’ and ‘implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.’”
Blue states have vowed to uphold the legality of abortion inside their borders. Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday upholding access to abortion until 24 weeks gestation and prohibiting agencies from assisting other states in investigating or prosecuting a person who received or performed a legal abortion.
Kounalakis’ state of California only restricts abortion at or after the point of fetal viability, according to the Guttmacher Institute.