As we reflect on Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) decision on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we must hold space to understand that this ruling not only violates our human right to bodily autonomy but also that this greatly affects Black women and birthing people. For the last 50 years, the constitutional right to have an abortion has been protected by the landmark case Roe v. Wade. Today, we see how religious fundamentalism is being used to rob individuals of their right to choose. The SCOTUS decision will not stop us from continuing our fight for Black birthing people, who are disparately impacted by systemic and institutional barriers that impede access to medical care. The court has not halted this much needed medical service, it will force women who desperately need or want an abortion to encounter more geographic and economic barriers to obtain one. Subsequently, women and birthing people will be forced to resort to unsafe and unsanitary options.
The decision to overturn landmark protections for women and birthing people sets back the position of the United States as the land of the free. In fact, the position of the United States (U.S.), on women’s bodily autonomy now ranks with countries that have known histories of human rights violations. The U.S. is on a trajectory to set dangerous precedents that will have ramifications on the decisions of other countries still debating on abortion access. Additionally, the SCOTUS decision severely weakens the work of organizations doing the critical work on the ground in countries that look to the U.S. to support their family planning and reproductive access efforts. The U.S. can no longer claim to be a beacon of human rights, democracy and freedom for the world when it legally undermines, curtails and completely eliminates the rights of women within its own borders.
We know that this decision is nothing more than an attempt to control the choices women and birthing people make with their bodies and lives. We will not sit down on our human right to choose. We will not sit down despite being tired. We will continue to fight to maintain the right to our reproductive freedoms. NBEC stands in solidarity with our partner organizations and the reproductive justice movement.
With Justice and Joy,
National Birth Equity Collaborative
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