Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; nearly 50 years of precedent
WASHINGTON — This morning, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion, and stripping people of the right to control their own bodies. It is as dangerous as it is shocking, and it opens the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion.
This final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is largely aligned with the draft decision that leaked seven weeks ago, could lead 26 states to quickly move to ban abortion, leaving at least 36 million women of reproductive age, and other people who can become pregnant, without abortion access. The consequences of this devastating decision will fall largely on people who already face the greatest barriers to health care due to this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural areas.
As Justice Breyer said in his dissent, “Countless women will now make different decisions about careers, education, relationships, and whether to try to become pregnant than they would have when Roe served as a backstop. Other women will carry pregnancies to term, with all the costs and risk of harm that involves, when they would previously have chosen to obtain an abortion. For millions of women, Roe and Casey have been critical in giving them control of their bodies and their lives. Closing our eyes to the suffering today’s decision will impose will not make that suffering disappear.”
This decision defies the will of the American people, 80% of whom support legal abortion. Poll after poll shows Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of the court’s move to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Knowing this moment would come does not make it any less devastating. The Supreme Court has now officially given politicians permission to control what we do with our bodies, deciding that we can no longer be trusted to determine the course for our own lives. Due to centuries of racism and systemic discrimination, we already know who will feel the consequences of this horrific decision most acutely: Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, those living in rural areas, young people, immigrants, and those having difficulties making ends meet. Make no mistake – if they can take away the right to abortion, a right we’ve held for nearly 50 years, they won’t stop here: All of our freedoms are on the line.
“But in stripping away our rights, the Supreme Court and anti-abortion politicians have also unleashed a movement. We are a movement that will not compromise on our bodies, our dignity, or our freedom. We are a movement that will show up at every town hall, every legislative session, and every ballot box to demand we are treated like equal citizens. We are a movement that will do what we can to get abortion care to people and people to abortion care.
“To anyone today who is scared, or angry, or determined, know this — 17 million Planned Parenthood supporters proudly stand with you. We will rebuild and reclaim the freedom that is ours. We won’t go back. And we won’t back down.”
Even with today’s horrible decision, abortion is still legal in most of the country. People who need care should go to abortionfinder.org.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.