#OurBodiesOurChoice

Roe v. Wade Overturned on June 24th

The Supreme Court's conservative justices have shown their dangerous intent, and destructive views on reproductive rights. Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization summarizes an accelerating battle of church and state. The lawsuit involves Thomas E. Dobbs, Mississippi's Department of Health State Officer versus a brave clinic in Jackson who are primarily represented by the Center of Reproductive Rights.

Dobbs pointed to the 2018 Gestational Age Act which bans any abortion procedure after 15 weeks. Elective abortions focus on pre-viability and an invasive maneuver against women's rights to choose. #OurBodiesOurChoice.

Jackson Women's Health Organization is Mississippi's only licensed reproductive rights center. They provide pills, surgical options, and peace of mind. Now a nation joins their fight for personal freedom in a sexual revolution.

Roe v. Wade upheld access plus the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States. This crucial 1973 ruling became legal protection against deadly medical realities like self-induction, unregulated centers and religious control over our bodies.

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." You can read about the specific right to privacy here.

The 1992 monumental Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pa. v. Casey decision further argued for abortion rights through Due Process Clause (Fourteenth Amendment). Section I is critical to remember. How did this happen? No coup occurs overnight.

The History

Jackson Women's Health Organization first challenged Mississippi legislature in 2021, and earned a temporary restraining order on abortion bans then. Their case proceeded till reaching the highest judicial forum. Supreme Court's decision does irreparable damage. How will care be given now? What does independence mean when a child must be carried at all costs? Consider the facts.

“Today’s decision strips women of agency over what even the majority agrees is a contested and contestable moral issue. It forces her to carry out the State’s will, whatever the circumstances and whatever the harm it will wreak on her and her family.

In the Fourteenth Amendment’s terms, it takes away her liberty,” the dissenting Justices spoke about June 24th. They are Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

America can't pretend to be a developed nation when women face the highest rate of pregnancy complications and deaths in this hemisphere. The morbidity toll increased in 25 years because health care is not a guarantee for many living here.

Additionally, Black and Latino women experience consistent discrimination during the birthing process. So do trans women. And it has fatal consequences.

The Need for Care, Not Control

Medicaid expansion alone would save hundreds of households from losing their mothers-to-be, since the assistance program funds 65% of African-American births every year (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities). Environmental waste distribution, natal care and pre-existing medical conditions are also responsible for a U.S. maternal health decline (Maternal Health Task Force).

The Biden Administration's Build Back Better Act passed the House in 2021. It includes massive provisions: $3 billion in comprehensive research, equity grants, workforce renovation, 12-month postpartum coverage and local committees nationwide.

Yet citizens need more concrete action without the backtracking, since President Biden chose to appoint a pro-life judge to Kentucky District Court. That was a day before Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

His unwise decision is widely seen for what it is: GOP concessions so no more stalled nominations. Majority Leader and Senator McConnell wields uncomfortable power over the Democratic process.

Mitch's faithful views should not determine nominees or any political dealings at all. Yet Nevada Senator Masto is absolutely right. They have negatively influenced Congress.

"(Sen. Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell has said that he is not opposed to further restricting abortion through federal legislation for an abortion ban. If he wins, and he takes control of the Senate again, they’re gonna be on track to try to pass a federal abortion ban which will preempt our state laws…" (x)

Uglier problems come along the road as 12 states enacted "trigger" laws once Roe v. Wade fell. This is sinister, and there are reasons to worry despite fierce resistance on a mass scale. Half of the country may follow suit altogether.

Clinic owner Diane Derzis agreed about a broader party goal to nix abortions beyond state lines. Her May 2021 prediction is eerie insight for 2022.

“As the only abortion clinic left in Mississippi, we see patients who have spent weeks saving up the money to travel here and pay for childcare, for a place to stay, and everything else involved. If this ban were to take effect, we would be forced to turn many of those patients away, and they would lose their right to abortion in this state.

Mississippi politicians have created countless barriers for people trying to access abortion, intentionally pushing them later into pregnancy. It’s all part of their strategy to eliminate abortion access entirely.” (Jackson Women's Health Organization)

Nancy Northup, Center of Reproductive Rights President, is outraged. Keep in mind that their organization brought this case before the Supreme Court (link to statement).

"Utter chaos lies ahead, as some states race to the bottom with criminal abortion bans, forcing people to travel across multiple state lines and, for those without means to travel, carry their pregnancies to term—dictating their health, lives, and futures. Today’s decision will ignite a public health emergency."

Resistance

A united wave of protests and civil defenders circled around this issue since the beginning. African-descended workers on plantation fields were faced with unimaginable pain. They were incredibly resourceful.

Pregnancy was a ruse not to work. Cotton roots, calomel, turpentine and red willow were their abortifacients or abortion agents. Even pennyroyal did its job in small doses. Some remedies still apply safely today.

North Carolina builds on African-Appalachian tradition with the Mountain Area Abortion Doula Collective, the Carolina Fund and much more (Blue Ridge Public Radio). Advocates worry about systemic strain as expecting parents make interstate trips though.

Dissent comes from the average citizen, celebrity comedians and medical academia to infuriated activists, even Republicans themselves. We join forces whether intentionally or not.

"Pelvic health decisions should be made between patients and their medical providers," the American Physical Therapy Association pointed out to Justice Samuel Alito.

"Laws should not interfere with the ability of physicians to offer appropriate treatment options to their patients without regard for their own self-interests," over 20 health organizations agreed. "This Ban—an unconstitutional pre-viability ban on abortion—would cause severe and detrimental physical and psychological health consequences for pregnant patients."

The Supreme Court's surrounding grounds are a snapshot of American crisis: progress vs. regression. Just last week, Women's March supporters famously shout "We won't go back" and "Bans off our bodies!" Officers pretended not to care, their handcuffs ready.

Green shirts weave between them and D.C. sidewalk barriers. Protesters avoid arrest at a neighboring park. Why, after all, "should we accept defeat when the fight's just started?"

Michigan blocked a July 4th parade for abortion rights (Newsweek). Dallas, Texas marches every other day. People flood streets, stop traffic and are bringing forth change. This is a new rebellion.

"American people do not want lawmakers controlling their bodies, their lives, or their most personal medical decisions, and we will proudly continue to do the work of protecting their health and rights." (NARAL)

Abortion By Any Means Necessary! 3D camera view of @harrietsdreams abortion rights rally in DC after the overturning of #roevwade #supremecourt #abortionrights #blackbodiesforblackpower #bansoffourbodies #AbortionRightsAreHumanRights #AbortionBan
🎥 @blvk.lite IG of FFC pic.twitter.com/3VhVo1CN3V

— Harriet’s Dreams (@HarrietsDreams) July 1, 2022

What can we do? Join this movement on July 9th and July 13th. Women's March returns to Washington. Be informed about ongoing updates. Donate to organizations like National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda right now! All of us are free, or none of us will be.

Events

JULY 13: Defend Abortion Rights Online

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Hosted by: Women's March


JULY 17: Operation Save Abortion

Time: 11:00 AM

Hosted by: Abortion Access Front


Related Groups

APTA Pelvic Health

Abortion Access Front

Abortion Care Network

Black Maternal Health Caucus

Center for Reproductive Rights

Harriet's Wildest Dreams

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

Jackson Women's Health Organization (The Pink House) (Donate)

Keep Our Clinics - community, independently-run clinic network

Liberate Abortion

Maternal Health Task Force

NARAL Pro-Choice America

Planned Parenthood

Women's March

News and Resources

Abortion Law Map (Center for Reproductive Rights)

Crisis Pregnancy Center Map

Legal Helpline

Summer of Rage Action Hub (Women's March)

Take Action to Protect Abortion Rights (NextGen America)

Timeline of Attacks on Abortion (2009-2021) (Planned Parenthood)

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Amicus Brief: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization (If/When/How)

Biden’s Plan To Nominate Anti-Abortion Lawyer (Nevada Current, 7-07-22)

Hidden Voices: Enslaved Women in the Lowcountry and U.S. South (Lowcountry Digital History Initiative)

How Does The Abortion Pill Work? (Planned Parenthood)

Majority of U.S. Disapproves of Supreme Court Abortion Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade (Pew Research, 7-06-22)

"Nearly six-in-ten adults (57%) disapprove of the court’s sweeping decision, including 43% who strongly disapprove. About four-in-ten (41%) approve of the court’s decision (25% strongly approve)."

Maternal Health in the United States (Maternal Health Task Force)

Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade (Center for Reproductive Rights)