Roe v. Wade has protected abortion access for 49 years. Right now, the right-wing justices on the Supreme Court are preparing to overturn it completely. We need to safeguard Roe—and expand upon it because it never went far enough. Reproductive care is health care and must be accessible to all who need it.
Justice Samuel Alito has drafted a ruling for the majority of the right-wing packed Supreme Court which states that the precedent and protections of Roe must be overturned. And while this draft is not final, it’s a strong indication of what the right-wing justices are preparing to do: Attack reproductive health care, overturn Roe, and let bans nearly eliminate access to this essential abortion care in state after state.
This would strip people of the freedom to choose when and whether to be pregnant and have a family. In dozens of states, Republican legislatures have already passed bans and other measures criminalizing abortion for both patients and providers. Studies have shown it will most heavily hit lower income communities and communities of color who do not have the privilege needed to leave the state or take the time to navigate our complex health care system.
Abortion access is pivotal and necessary for all, but especially when it comes to the advocacy of trans and nonbinary people. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be devastating for all of us, but especially dehumanizing for trans and nonbinary folks that need access to reproductive healthcare and abortion to support their mental health, safety and bodily autonomy.
Republicans have made it clear they’ll continue to go after the LGBTQ+ community, which means that the end of marriage equality could be next.
For nearly 50 years, Roe has been the law of the land. Overturning it is cruel. It won’t lead to fewer abortions—but will increase unsafe and potentially deadly ones.
Roe never extended protections for abortion access far enough to our most vulnerable populations—but instead of us moving forward and building on the bedrock of Roe’s legacy, we’re moving backwards. We should be expanding Roe, not destroying it. The impacts of a nation without Roe v. Wade are wide and far-reaching, we’ll all be impacted.
The Senate must act, as the House has done to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify these protections into law. It’s beyond time to abolish the filibuster to prevent Republicans from blocking this crucial legislation. They packed the court to create this moment, we can’t rely on them to be part of the solution now. State legislatures can pass laws to provide reproductive care and repeal bans.
And Congress must expand the Supreme Court to rebalance it from the right-wing power grabs that have left it out of step with today’s world and the vast majority of Americans.
We are not going to be held hostage by a Supreme Court decision draft. We have power—and every elected official can act to save and expand abortion rights, while preventing further criminalization for people utilizing life-saving, essential healthcare.