A Republican lawmaker from Illinois on Saturday night called the decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade a “victory for white life” during a rally alongside ex-President Donald Trump.
U.S. Representative Mary Miller has come under fire for a remark made to a crowd at a GOP rally in Mendon, Illinois, where she was invited to speak as the party prepares for primary elections. Standing beside Trump on stage, Miller applauded the Supreme Court’s Friday decision to overturn nearly 50 years of precedence that protected the right to abortion nationwide.
“President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday,” Miller said. The crowd cheered in response.
A spokesperson for Miller said the lawmaker did not mean to phrase her remarks the way they were delivered. The rep. instead mixed up her words, actually intending to say the decision was a victory for a “right to life,” according to the spokesperson.
“You can clearly see in the video ... she’s looking at her papers and looking at her speech,” the spokesperson told the Associated Press.
Miller’s controversial remarks came one day after the Supreme Court upended federal protection of abortion access, relinquishing control of abortion regulation -- and bans -- to individual states -- many of which have already or are preparing to ban abortions completely.
Among many concerns cited in connection with the SCOTUS’ decision, health experts are particularly concerned that criminalizing abortion will have a disproportionate impact on people of color, a group who already faces disparities in access to health care. Black women in the U.S. are between two-to-three times more likely to die during or shortly after pregnancy, research shows.
Miller, who is up for reelection, was previously criticized for quoting Adolf Hitler during a speech in 2021. According to a video posted by WCIA-TV, Rep. Miller said, “Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.” Democratic lawmakers called for Miller’s resignation after that speech.
Rep. Miller was also among those who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election -- which Trump and his supporters falsely claimed was “stolen” from the former president, though no evidence of widespread fraud was ever found.
During the Saturday rally, Trump noted that in 2016, he promised to appoint judges who opposed abortion rights. All three of the conservative justices appointed to the Supreme Court by Trump voted in favor of overturning Roe.