Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court, which annulled Roe vs. Wade, is nothing short of a shameful, radical, and politically driven decision that will have life-altering and, indeed, life-threatening consequences for women and others who may become pregnant. The devastation of this moment and how it will erode many of our fundamental rights cannot be underestimated.
Today’s decision repeals the federal constitutional right to abortion, and with it our agency over our lives and futures. As a result of this decision, half of the states are expected to ban abortion.
This is an outrageous attack on the rights of women and the bodily autonomy of anyone who can become pregnant, and the effects will be immediate and far-reaching. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy and give birth against her will has devastating impacts, derailing their plans for life, education, and career, and assigning them a future they never wanted or imagined for themselves.
As bad as it is today, this is just the beginning. The extremists have made it clear that they will not be happy until abortion is banned nationwide. And they won’t stop with abortion either. The same extremists who seek to control the bodies of pregnant people are coming for our rights to access birth control and gender-affirming healthcare, to marry the ones we love, and to vote. But the ACLU has been fighting for our fundamental rights since before. Roe vs. Wade It has been decided, and we will not back down now, or ever. The ACLU and our supporters have been preparing for this moment.
What is the Mississippi abortion ban and how did we get here?
The state of Mississippi used Dobbs to send a direct invitation to the Supreme Court to revoke Roe. the case was brought forward on behalf of the last abortion clinic in Mississippi by the Center for Reproductive Rights, and challenged a state law that prohibited abortion after 15 weeks, in clear violation of Roe. The state asked the court not only to uphold the 15-week ban, but to completely reconsider the constitutionality of abortion and declare that the Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. absolutely. That is precisely what the court ruled today.
What happens when abortion is prohibited?
Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty , derail a person’s education, career, and life plans, and make it more difficult to exit. an abusive partner This decision will also lead to miscarriages being suspected, investigated and arrested, and patients and doctors being jailed.
These burdens will fall disproportionately on women of color, those struggling to make ends meet, youth, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ communities.
Today’s ruling will also have deadly consequences, with the damage falling most heavily on Black women and other people of color who already face a maternal mortality crisis that is most severe in the very states that are determined to ban abortion. In fact, black women are three times more likely than white women to die during or shortly after childbirth. If abortion is banned nationwide, it is estimated that pregnancy-related deaths increase by 21 percent nationally and 33 percent among black women.
What next for the right to abortion?
Without the federal right to abortion, about half the states They are expected to ban abortion in the near future. Some of these laws will take effect immediately, some will require additional actions for the law to take effect, and some states will pass new laws.
This did not happen overnight. It has been part of a decades-long project to take away a right people have relied on for half a century. Anti-abortion politicians have spent decades enacting a patchwork of abortion bans. statewide that put abortion out of reach and set the stage for the moment we find ourselves in now: when they can ban abortion in wide swaths of the country. But we know they won’t stop there. Today’s decision brings anti-abortion politicians one step closer to their ultimate goal of banning abortion. nationwide.
How can we channel our anger into action?
Everyone deserves the dignity and power to decide for themselves if and when to have a child. Those who are trying to take away our basic rights count on our silence. We cannot afford to remain silent when our rights and freedoms are at stake, and we will not.
Take the Pledge: Pledge to Be an Abortion Rights Advocate
This is a time of crisis, but we are not powerless. Abortion access is literally on the ballot this year, and we must vote as if our rights depend on it, because they do.
With the disappearance of the federal constitutional right to abortion, state constitutional rights are more important than ever. In Michigan and Vermont, efforts are underway to enshrine the right to reproductive liberty in their state constitutions.
By contrast, proposed state constitutional amendments to eliminate the right to abortion are on the ballot in Kansas this august and in kentucky this November. We cannot allow those measures to succeed.
We can make our voice heard by going out into the street. Protests and actions are taking place across the country, and you can locate events in your state here. You can join these efforts and sign up for ACLU alerts by texting FIGHTBACK to 826-23 for more action and updates on the crucial work ahead.*
Finally, you can help combat abortion stigma by sharing your stories and talk about how access to abortion has changed your life. Speak your friends, family and neighbors about why access to abortion is essential.
It’s up to us – the overwhelming majority of Americans who support access to abortion, get together and fight for a world where we have the freedom to control our bodies and futures. We are joining forces with partners and working to mobilize people in all corners of the country to get involved in the fight for bodily autonomy.
The ACLU will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that everyone can access the care they need, when they need it. We are fighting for our rights everywhere: in the courts, in Congress and state legislatures, in the streets and at the polls. Politicians do not have the last word. We make.
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