On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court turned back the clock fifty years by reversing a basic Constitutional freedom that for decades has enabled pregnant people to make decisions about their own futures: the right to have an abortion.
For decades, two-thirds of the public has supported the historic Roe v. Wade decision (1973) that ensures everyone in America can decide for themselves if, when, and how to start a family. Now, thanks to three Trump-appointed judges, an extremist majority on the nation’s highest court can prioritize their own personal beliefs ahead of our freedom to make those decisions based on our own faith and values. This is the first time in American history that the Supreme Court is taking away a Constitutional right as opposed to granting more rights and individual freedoms.
As a result of the Supreme Court decision, abortion access for millions of people will now depend largely on zip code, not on fair and equal Constitutional protections. In state after state, lawmakers will take action to ban abortion, existing bans will become valid and be in effect for the first time in decades. In some states, lawmakers and voters will also act to protect state constitutional rights to abortion and create havens for those coming from other states to access abortion that is no longer legal in their home state.
This Court’s ruling will have serious health and economic consequences for millions of people and their families. HCAN worked with partners around the country to highlight the impact of the Dobbs decision on people nationwide and will continue to organize in opposition to the decision.
In Montana, HCAN partner Big Sky 55+ issued a statement and participated in rallies on June 26 at the State Capitol as well as Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls with thousands at each location.
Carrol Olinger of Action NC, pictured below with co-director Naomi Randolph, board member Tarsha Gunn, and Carol Stubbs of Action NC RAGE, was highlighted in The Fayetteville Observer, which stated: “The Fayetteville area organizer for Action NC, said the impact on communities of color is going to be ‘devastating.’ Action NC advocates for racial and gender equity. ‘It’s going to make people resort to backdoor ways to get services that they need,’ she said shortly after Friday morning’s ruling. ‘This is terrible. How can this happen, to all of us?’”
Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress, HCAN’s partner in Nevada, stated: “I have spent my career in Nevada politics fighting for access to abortion care. Abortion is an essential form of health care, to which access affords all people capable of getting pregnant a decision as to whether or not to have children. The future for pregnant individuals is frightening as we could see any other behavior while pregnant becoming a crime. Healthcare issues like abortion should never be treated as a crime. The Supreme Court’s decision today sacrifices what last shred of credibility the Court held in order to destroy health care access for millions of people nationwide.” Battle Born Progress participated in a week of action to educate the public about the impact of the SCOTUS decision as well as a rally at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse in Las Vegas.
This reaction to ending abortion rights is just the beginning. HCAN partners, allied advocacy groups, reproductive health rights and justice leaders, lawmakers and impacted people will be working to make abortion access a key issue in the upcoming election and to help voters and patients understand the dangerous impact of denying people abortion access.