WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court hears the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. While the specifics of this case involve a Mississippi ban on almost all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, there are much broader implications. The ruling could serve as a vehicle for a direct assault on Roe v. Wade.
Overturning Roe and implementing these tyrannical laws (like the Mississippi law or Texas’s S.B. 8) in states across the country could make it harder -or even impossible- for women to access abortion and reproductive care.
These bans will ultimately serve as the tipping point that will lead to an impending avalanche of control and restriction on women.
The health and welfare of women and girls are of no importance to those crafting these policies, except as a political weapon. Women are the ones who will be held liable to the consequences, even when they are not solely responsible for evoking them. We cannot continue to foster a toxic and hypocritical culture of controlling a person’s autonomy in family planning while at the same time not supporting the future of women, children and families. Reproductive care and justice is at the heart of women’s health, welfare, safety, and economic security.
Beyond placing limits on a birthing person’s bodily autonomy, those who seek abortions or even experience miscarriages will be hunted by citizen vigilantes. Campaigns of stalking, intimidation, and violence against doctors who provided and individuals who sought out abortion care, like those that have taken place in Mississippi for decades, will continue. A decision to allow Mississippi to continue down the path of anti-abortion extremism would ignore this history of violence and augment these threats.
We cannot reward this violence and allow reproductive healthcare as we know to evolve into a more dangerous institution, and we cannot spend the next few decades watching countless women being stripped of the right to make decisions about their own body. The Supreme Court must uphold the rule of law, affirm the precedent established by Roe, and protect our Constitutional right to abortion care.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.