By Hannah Adams and Taylor Smith
WASHINGTON, DC — June 24 marked the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that legalized abortion almost 50 years ago.
Anti-abortion politicians from any state will now be able to revoke that right in Roe.
Pro-choice advocates charge Friday’s SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will start a domino effect, leading to several states criminalizing safe essential care throughout the country.
The ACLU, among other groups, are claiming that taking away the right to an abortion is a blatant attack on reproductive freedom and women’s rights in general, and its repercussions are immediate and widespread; half of the country is expected to ban abortion, voiding the bodily autonomy of 36 million women and others who can become pregnant in those states.
Forcing women and other people to carry a pregnancy has detrimental consequences, pro-choice groups stated, from causing severe health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, a potential obstacle to overcoming poverty, a diversion from career and life plans, as well as a lesser probability of escaping an abusive partner—this decision will be a watershed moment for many.
Pro-choice advocates note a ban on abortions could also lead to pregnancy losses—including miscarriages—being subject to suspicion, investigation and arrest. By extension, patients and doctors alike could be imprisoned.
Pro-choice groups add that Black women are especially vulnerable to deadly ramifications, as they already face the worst of a maternal mortality crisis within the states that are expected to ban abortion. Black women are three times more likely than white women to die during childbirth or immediately after.
In the event of a nationwide abortion ban, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent—and 33 percent among Black women alone, said pro-choice advocates.
Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony D. Romero, gave a comprehensive statement in response to this ruling.
He illustrated the ongoing issue, stating, “Second-class status for women has once again become the law because of today’s decision.”
Romero explained that this decision will deeply affect the nation as a whole, as people are being stripped of the most fundamental American constitutional liberty to have a choice—a choice to become a parent, to seek essential medical care, to provide essential medical care, and more life-altering decisions.
He noted the Supreme Court has “plunged this country and itself into a historic crisis, one that will reverberate far beyond the ability to get an abortion,” and he is not alone in thinking this.
This decision was known to be heavily controversial and detested by the public—most notably since its possibility leaked and sent the nation into a frenzy online and offline just more than a month ago.
Romero reminded citizens that Friday’s decision is not just an isolated policy issue.
“The same politicians seeking to control the bodies of women and pregnant people will stop at nothing to challenge our right to use birth control, the right to marry whom you love, and even the right to vote. No right or liberty is secure in the face of a Supreme Court that would reverse Roe,” Romero said.
The politicians responsible for this decision will suffer great consequences, according to Romero. He is certain that the nation will band together to fight for one another to ensure that every citizen alike will maintain their right to choose and choose safely.
He closed his statement by insisting that he and the ACLU will be valiantly fighting alongside everyone to bring back what is “right.”
The ACLU said it is prepared to fight this decision and is ready to mobilize the nation to do so as well. Citizens can take actions such as publicly protesting, informing themselves and voting, and petitioning with organizations like the ACLU for an amendment to the Constitution.