Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling in Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs, which has undone decades of reproductive rights & privacy protections provided under Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
We are devastated at this decision. ??This decision does not reflect the will of the people, as a majority of U.S. adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew Research. In no uncertain terms, the decision will not only allow states to ban abortion for any reason, but also threaten other freedoms including marriage equality, privacy in one’s home, and full access to birth control.
This is a nationwide crisis with many ripple effects.
Since the Roe ruling nearly 50 years ago, abortion rights activists have been hard at work to ensure continued, and improved, access to abortion and reproductive healthcare for all people across the United States. The ability to choose when, and if, to have a child is a profound choice with lasting consequences that every person should be able to make for themselves.
In addition to its impact on the individual, abortion access also has far-reaching socio-economic consequences. Studies show that abortion access impacts financial security, earning potential, labor force participation, career opportunities, and educational attainment of those seeking abortions. For example:
- Legal access to abortion increases women’s probability of graduating college by 72%. The effect was even larger for Black women, whose chances of completing college increased two- or three-fold.
- Delaying motherhood by one year due to access to legal abortion increases women’s wages by 11%.
- Abortion legalization also reduced Black maternal mortality by 30 to 40% by increasing access to safe and affordable procedures.
- Legal abortion access also decreases the percentage of children who grow up in poverty.
It has also been well documented that banning abortion doesn’t stop abortion, it just stops safe, legal abortion and that those with money and power will continue to have full access to reproductive healthcare and abortion.
YWCA National Capital Area won’t remain silent during this injustice. As an organization whose mission calls us to eliminate racism and empower women, we call for legal access to abortion and equitable reproductive rights for all. Abortion is healthcare and a human right.
What can we do to support legal abortion access now?
It’s BEYOND TIME that our legislators hear this call and provide legal protection for abortion rights at the federal level. Join us and tell Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. See here: https://ywca.quorum.us/campaign/35393/.
If you want to make your voice heard in-person, we encourage you to join our community in front of the Supreme Court or at other activities across the county. Check in with your local reproductive rights orgs like @PPFA, @MoveOn, @UltraViolet, and @womensmarch to find activities near you.
Can’t make it in-person and want to help? Donate to your local abortion funds. Learn more https://abortionfunds.org/.
CEO, YWCA National Capital Area