Today the Supreme Court, in their decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, rejected 50 years of precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade. The decision eliminates the federal right to abortion access and sends it back to the states to decide. This will decimate abortion access in this country, as 26 states are likely to ban abortion in the wake of this decision.
People who live in states where abortion will be illegal will now be forced to travel to access abortion care or forced to carry the pregnancy to term. This is a gross violation of human rights, and strikes a blow to values of privacy, individual agency, bodily autonomy, and equitable access to health care. The impacts of this decision will reverberate across the country, but they will not be felt equally. Black, Indigenous, and people of color, those with low incomes, young people, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQI+ community will bear a disproportionate burden of this decision.
The powerful dissent co-written by Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan lays out what is at stake: The majority “says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A State can force her to bring a pregnancy to term, even at the steepest personal and familial costs….With sorrow–for this Court, but more for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection–we dissent.”
It also points out that the majority will not stop with abortion: “And no one should be confident that the majority is done with its work. The right Roe and Casey recognized does not stand alone.”
Now is the time for our leaders at all levels of government to be bold and take action, as their decisions will directly determine who is able to access abortion. We hope you will join us in making your voice heard in the fight to protect and defend this fundamental right to bodily autonomy.
Today’s ruling is not the end of the fight. We will keep fighting to ensure that everyone is able to access affordable abortion care no matter who they are or where they live.