The moment we’ve been fighting against for over 49 years is here.
Leaked Supreme Court ruling would overturn Roe v. Wade
On May 2, 2022, Politico released a copy of the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion on a Mississippi abortion ban case, Dobbs v. Jackson Health Organization, which will overturn outright both the Roe v. Wade decision protecting the right to abortion, and the Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision that a woman doesn’t need spousal permission to get one. The North Carolina Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NC NOW) denounces this new ruling in the strongest possible terms. Justice Alito’s ranting leaked draft opinion makes clear that this isn’t about protecting women’s health – it’s all about controlling women’s lives, their future, and their bodily autonomy. To say this is a disaster for American women, especially women of color, low-income and rural women, is an understatement. Women and allies know for certain that we cannot depend on the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) anymore to protect what have been women’s constitutional rights for almost 50 years! For right now, abortion is still legal in North Carolina. However, this terrible decision will reverberate until Congress codifies a woman’s right to control her own body. Still there are things we can do.
The Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case should not have even been taken up by SCOTUS – Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from banning abortions prior to viability. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed Roe in this case. The Roe v. Wade landmark decision in 1973 asserted that the 14th amendment to the US Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction and was based on the right to privacy. It struck down many US federal and state abortion laws. Casey v. Planned Parenthood struck down a Pennsylvania law that required ‘spousal awareness’ prior to the woman obtaining an abortion.
This terrible ruling against the right to privacy puts other established law at risk. For example, birth control which is protected by Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, and same sex marriage which is protected by Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015.
People were shaken by the hostility to Roe of the conservative justices in the Court’s December oral arguments in the case. However, this draft opinion is still shocking! Justice Alito uses extreme language, for example, he calls doctors providing abortions “abortionists” three times! Alito cites the good old days of male-controlled governance! And more.
Congress urgently needs to pass something like the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021, which creates a new legal protection for the right to provide and access abortion care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions and bans on abortion, including forced waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds, biased counseling, targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that require abortion providers to be regulated like hospitals, and pre-viability bans like the one in Texas. The WHPA of 2021 passed in the US House but was stopped in the US Senate.
If you have the stomach to read it, you can find the draft online at Politico here and directly here. It’s a very long, self-righteous, pedantic screed against abortion, with no concern for women’s lives whatsoever. This is judicial activism at its worse.
National NOW call this evening
NOW members were emailed this morning with an invitation to attend a webinar tonight at 8:30 EST to discuss the draft ruling; check your inbox, the email went out at 10:59 a.m. EST.
Not a member yet?
Your membership helps support NOW’s efforts to protect women’s right to choose when and if to bear a child, access to reproductive healthcare and a constitutional amendment that would protect women from the continuing attacks on our freedom in this country. At the state level, your membership helps us fight laws that would harm women at the NC General Assembly. Sliding scale memberships are always available.
Other things to do
Most important right now is voting! Vote in the primary – early voting is NOW and election day is May 17 2022. Vote all the way down the ballot if you can. As you can see, judges are exceedingly important.
Call or write Senators Burr and Tillis and tell them to support the Women’s Health Protection Act! Use contact information for Burr and Tillis at http://wp.me/p22b2e-gl
Support candidates who support women’s issues.
Support women’s organizations and attend or organize events on women’s issues. Whatever you can do. Even if you can’t organize and can’t attend, try to spread the word.