The willingness of the Court's majority to disrespect the importance of women's autonomy and catapult them backwards into a 19th century, second-class status speaks volumes about the majority's lack of respect for women's equality and individual dignity.
Today's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and reversing a legal precedent of nearly 50 years is no surprise. The decision was years in the making – the inevitable result of a decades-long campaign to put politics and ideology ahead of women's health and well-being and the rule of law. While this reversal may have been a foregone conclusion given the recent leaked opinion draft, its real-world consequences will be no less devastating or long lasting.
This decision will have an immediate impact on women, all those who give birth, and families across the country. With the stroke of a pen, it effectively eviscerates constitutional protections that have been so essential to enabling people to make the most personal health decisions – without interference by politicians – and to determine their own future. Instead, the Court concludes that women's ability to make decisions about their own body should be subject to the whims of politicians who can dictate which reproductive health care services women can have access to and which ones they cannot. Today's decision severely limits access to abortion care, but tomorrow it could be access to birth control or some other form of care. Women's health should not be treated like a political football, and the consequences of these decisions are not a game.
This decision will put the lives of every woman and person who can give birth – across race, ethnicity, disability,LGBTQ and immigration status – at risk. It will endanger the lives of the most vulnerable among us who are struggling to make ends meet. It will have a disproportionately harmful effect on Black and Brown women, who experience the harshest health and economic disparities. In a nation with the worst record for maternal health outcomes in the developed world, this decision will worsen conditions for Black and Indigenous women, who already are the most likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. These consequences not only jeopardize women's health, they also threaten the economic stability of working women – and especially women of color – compounding the workplace and pay disparities they continue to face. Yet the Court callously dismisses these concerns, stating that it is “ill-equipped” to assess the impact of its decision on women's futures.
Today's reversal is the latest installment of a coordinated, nationwide campaign to roll back the civil rights and human rights that generations of activists gave their blood, tears, and sacrifice to win. The overturning of Roe imperils the right to privacy, which also protects access to birth control and the ability of all Americans to marry the person they truly love. At the same time, many of the same states enacting extreme abortion bans across our country continue to simultaneously enact laws that make it harder for people to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
We have seldom faced a more consequential moment in the fight to advance freedom in the United States.
The National Partnership for Women & Families stands alongside the majority of people who oppose this reversal by the Supreme Court. We will join our allies in every corner of our country in defending and deepening the right of all people to access reproductive health care, to exercise control over their own bodies, and to live each day with freedom and dignity.
We will not be silenced or give up. We will not go away. We will make our voices heard.
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About the National Partnership
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.