Last week, the Supreme Court upended half a century of settled law and conspicuously contravened a 30-year old precedent with its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. SCOTUS’ stunningly unfortunate decision effectively overturns Roe v. Wade, throwing access to abortion to individual states. The decision serves as a stark reminder of the unequal power structure in this country and how far too often, women and people of color (especially women of color) have little to no agency on decisions that impact their lives – and in the case of this decision – their very bodies.
At this moment, we want to be clear and unequivocal in our position. We stand in solidarity with organizations such as Planned Parenthood that provide reproductive health care and education as well as Power to Decide that work with “young people to decide, if, when and under what circumstances to get pregnant or have a child.” We also stand united with organizations like EMILY’s List that are working to elect women who will protect abortion and other reproductive rights at every level of government, all across the country.
While the Dobbs decision is a significant blow to those of us who believe all women should have dominion over their own bodies, it also underscores the necessity to organize and mobilize for the causes we hold dear. With this decision the Court has served notice that a host of other rights until now presumed to be settled, may be as provisional as a woman’s right to decide when, whether, by what means, and how many children to have.
Dismantling structural racism, sexism, and patriarchy requires planning, vigilance, and concerted effort across multiple disciplines with like-minded individuals. The Dobbs decision is a clearcut and poignant reminder of the long road we must traverse on the journey for true gender and racial equity – and even basic civil rights in the United States.