This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case America has been watching for months – a case that could end our constitutional right to abortion as we know it: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
The case today was a challenge to a Mississippi abortion ban brought by our partners at Jackson Women's Health Organization and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Let's go over what today's case could mean for the future of abortion rights and the larger plan to defend it.
First, in today's case, Mississippi has asked the Court to overturn Roe v. Wade:
- If the Court goes that route, it would mean that there is no constitutional right to an abortion. Full stop.
- But even if the Court doesn't go that far, SCOTUS could still dramatically roll back our rights – resulting in an explosion of anti-abortion legislation across the states.
Without Roe, basic federal protections for abortion will vanish – but even now, we know the right to abortion is not a true reality for many people in our country:
- And that reality disproportionately harms specific communities. Restricting abortion is rooted in systemic racism, misogyny, and other structural inequities. And that means people struggling financially, Indigenous people, Black people, people of color, people who are undocumented, and young people suffer the most. This impact will only be magnified if the right to abortion is further restricted or eliminated nationwide.
- In fact, we know half of all states across the country are poised to totally ban abortion if the Court overturns Roe. Texas' extreme six-week ban is a real-life preview of what's at stake: As we speak, it is forcing countless people to remain pregnant against their will.
So while the Court's ruling will likely not come for months, all of us dedicated to defending abortion rights will remain relentless:
- We at the ACLU are positioned to fight back with a national and affiliate presence in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. We've blocked over 20 abortion restrictions across the states in 2021 alone – and our work in the months ahead will amplify that reach as we continue to both block state attacks and simultaneously work to expand protections for abortion at the state and federal level.
If you're in search of ways that you can be involved in the broader work today, here are just a couple of resources to help:
- You can tell your Senators to pass the Women's Health Protection Act now, which would provide a nationwide safeguard for abortion access no matter where you live.
- You can also donate to organizations in this fight who are providing direct services in Mississippi and beyond: Right now, if you give through the National Network of Abortion Funds you can support three local abortion funds in its network: Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, and Yellowhammer Fund. These organizations are all providing critical financial assistance and practical support like travel and lodging for people seeking abortion care in Mississippi, and need urgent resources at this time.
A terrifying time in the fight for abortion access demands everything we've got. This is too important to let up.