LOS ANGELES, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The three states of California, Oregon and Washington in the U.S. West Coast announced Friday they will continue protecting abortion access despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade.
The governors of these states issued a Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to export their abortion bans to the West Coast states.
"This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors' commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states," Office of the Governor of California said in a press release.
"The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible," the press release read.
The three governors also released video messages, condemning the latest ruling and sharing the view that the West Coast would remain a place where reproductive health care will be accessible and protected.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said the ruling was an devastating step toward erasing the rights and liberties that Americans had fought for a long time.
"This is not the America we know - and it's not the California way," Newsom said. "California has banded together with Oregon and Washington to stand up for women, and to protect access to reproductive health care."
"We will not sit on the sidelines and allow patients who seek reproductive care in our states or the doctors that provide that care to be intimidated with criminal prosecution. We refuse to go back and we will fight like hell to protect our rights and our values," he added.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee confirmed that the law on abortion in the state remained unchanged, saying that "Washington state remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting the ability and right of every patient who comes to our state in need of abortion care, and we will fight like hell to restore that right to patients all across the country."
"Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions - and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people's lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes," said Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
She described the cooperative moves of the West Coast states after the Supreme Court's anti-abortion ruling as building the West Coast offense and pledged the states would "fight like hell to protect your rights and your safety."
"For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry and disappointed - for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care - please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over," she added.