Pregnant as a newly elected New York City Council member, “I walked proudly into Planned Parenthood. And I make no apologies to anyone,” the Democrat told a crowd of protesters filling a square in Lower Manhattan.
James qualified that she is a “woman of faith,” who attends church.
“But my God teaches me all about love and acceptance. And my God teaches me about privacy. And my God says you’ve got to make the best decision for your body and your life,” James said. “So I make no apologies to no one.”
James, 63, won a City Council race in 2003 to begin her political career, going on to serve as the city’s elected ombudsman, called the public advocate, and then as attorney general since 2018. Last year, she briefly entered the 2022 race for governor before dropping out; she’s now seeking reelection in November.
James has proposed a New York fund to help provide abortions to women who can’t access the procedures in their own states, and she has filed or joined other attorneys general in filing friend-of-the-court briefs arguing against some abortion restrictions in other states.
“We will not go backward,” she told the protesters Tuesday. “No judge of the Supreme Court can dictate to me or to you how to use your body.”
The draft decision, which was leaked Monday night, would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Though the draft is not final, and Roe remains the law of the land, the news has swept the country into a frenzy or what it could mean for the future of abortion rights.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.