Our Work Continues: The High Court and Roe v. Wade
Dear GLIDE Community,
Today, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion and a woman’s liberty to make personal decisions about her health and body. This ruling is a devastating blow to the progress of women and their families within our democracy.
In 1973, as women were gaining ground to exist autonomously in the workplace and the home, the Supreme Court validated that a woman’s liberty over her body was protected by the U.S. Constitution. By recognizing and affirming a woman’s right to make personal decisions concerning her body, Roe v. Wade served as a landmark ruling that would help pave a path for social, racial and gender progress. Now, nearly fifty years later, six Supreme Court justices have voted to overturn Roe, asserting that a woman’s personal liberty is a rescindable luxury.
As 26 states prepare to strip reproductive rights on the heels of today’s ruling, we face pandemic levels of maternal mortality, and have yet to establish universal parental leave and universal subsidized childcare. Many women will be forced into destitute motherhood. Low-income and Black women stand to feel a disproportionate impact from banning abortion, the latter being three to four times more likely to die in pregnancy and birthing than their white counterparts. To rescind access to legal abortion as critical healthcare while denying women a social service safety net hurts all of us. It perpetuates poverty, drives family and economic instability, and clearly rolls back the great wheels of justice in service of the few, not the many.
As we process and mourn the overturning of Roe, we must remember that reproductive rights are not a “women’s issue.” It is everyone’s fight and there is a lot at stake.
Roe v. Wade was predicated on a constitutional right that empowered and protected women while they made intimate decisions about their health and family without government restrictions. The decision to overturn Roe goes beyond abortion rights. The reasoning used by the six conservative Supreme Court justices in overturning Roe has upended constitutional and judicial precedent. This decision threatens to turn back the clock, not only on abortion, but on contraceptive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the right to interracial marriage, among others.
It is time to act.
It is time for each of us to stand up, speak out and protest against the erosion of our civil rights. As the rights of women are eliminated, we risk the elimination of rights for all.
It is time for a critical mass of men to advocate. As we navigate an era where men are free of laws regulating their bodies, they have the opportunity to leverage their privilege and close the contraception gap.
It is time for corporations to use their power and influence to support policies and funding that enables dignified travel by their employees and their families in states with oppressive reproductive rights statutes to where they can receive the health care they require.
And it is time for all of us to use our voices for advocacy and at the ballot, and for lawmakers and leaders to pass comprehensive reproductive rights legislation to make a legal right to abortion free and accessible to all.
Now more than ever, we need to build a radically inclusive, just, and loving community mobilized to take action and foster real and lasting change for women in our nation.
True democracy cannot exist without gender equality. GLIDE stands for reproductive rights. While today’s Supreme Court ruling marks a step backward for this country, GLIDE will always continue to move forward with a steadfast commitment to fight for the rights and freedom for all people and to bring about a more just and loving world.