As moderate spring weather turns into the heat of summer, the temperature of the right’s attacks on basic human rights just reached an all-time high. After months of book and curriculum bans, 300 plus anti-LGBTQ bills and attempts to criminalize affirming parents of trans kids, late on Monday, April 2nd, Politico published a leaked Supreme Court opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson suit.. The sweeping and draconian opinion penned by Justice Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade, the legal decision that established the right to an abortion under the constitution almost 50 years ago.
While abortion is still legal, we cannot understate that this is a crisis event. The news made it clear– Roe v. Wade is under urgent legal threat. The Supreme Court seems ready to end our constitutional right to abortion to further a political agenda, rather than to extend justice.
Kendra Johnson, our Executive Director, elaborated:
“This is a moment that many progessive voices have been warning about since 2016. It is devastating to see this news. We are outraged and we are hurting. We hope that in the coming weeks the Supreme Court reconsiders this decision. Most importantly, our community is resolute and impassioned. This will not stop our work, and it reinvigorates each of us to see progressive voices elected, and equality focused legislation on healthcare passed.”
A reversal of Roe V. Wade will be devastating. Abortion would be immediately illegal in 22 states and restrictions would be implemented in a majority of states across the country. Individuals will have to move, seek dangerous treatments, or be targets of vigilante laws. These decisions and these next few months will be some of the hardest our state and country have faced. And although abortion will still be legal in North Carolina if Roe is overturned, it sends a worrying signal to a General Assembly which we know has been hostile. Last year, North Carolina legislators attempted to restrict abortion access. Now they have been given a green light by the highest court in the land.
Attacking women, trans, non-binary, and intersex people’s basic rights to safe and effective reproductive healthcare is an attack on us all. And it doesn’t stop with abortion. Civil rights laws, marriage equality and even the Supreme Court’s ban on prosecution for consensual same sex relations could be challenged. Bodily autonomy, already under threat from the national wave of anti-trans bills, will be further jeopardized. And we know that the harm from these bills isn’t spread evenly. Black people, queer and trans people, poor people, and survivors of sexual violence are going to be disproportionately hurt by the removal of Roe v. Wade, and that harm will be particularly common at the intersections.
So where do we go from here? We can look to the profound tradition of work for reproductive justice. Although Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for decades, in practice large parts of the country, particularly rural areas in red states, have been functionally post-Roe for many years. Advocates in our communities have passionately fought to fund abortions and make them more accessible.
Today, we can do the following to continue in that tradition.
We urge you to take the following actions:
- Donate! If you are able, donating to abortion funds and reproductive justice organizing makes a big difference! Here are some good reproductive justice organizations to help out in the South.
- Call! Contact your representatives and tell them we must pass North Carolina protections for reproductive healthcare for all. Share your goals for a progressive and equitable North Carolina today!
- Vote! Early voting runs until May 14. Make sure to visit our voting hub to find an early voting location and make your voice heard by voting for one of our endorsed candidates.
- Speak Up! Share your story with us. Tell us how reproductive justice is important to you, or how it has impacted you and we can amplify your story to educate others and share with legislators.
No matter where you are today, we want to close by saying we stand alongside you. Our staff, our board, our partners and our members share your pain, and we feel your struggle. We knew this year would be hard, and we are proud to be in this fight for equality because of your support. We’re outraged. We’re hurting. We feel the heaviness and pain of the moment. But we will not stop fighting! We are not wavering–we are digging in. We ask you to take action today. Let’s send a clear message that human rights will not be trampled: they will be extended until there’s justice and equity for us all.