On Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States officially released their decision to overturn Roe v. Wade: a landmark decision of 1973 that protected a pregnant person’s freedom to get an abortion.
In 1970, Jane Roe* filed a lawsuit against local attorney Henry Wade—at the time, Roe was pregnant with her third child and lived in Texas, where abortion was illegal unless performed to save the mother’s life. In her lawsuit, she stated that these abortion laws violated her right to personal privacy, as mentioned in multiple amendments of the Constitution. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which ruled—in a 7-2 decision—that the Fourteenth Amendment did in fact protect a woman’s right to an abortion. In accordance with this ruling, states were no longer allowed to ban abortion procedures before the point of “fetal viability,” usually at 24 weeks. After the point of viability, abortions were regulated with exceptions made to protect the life and health of the mother.
Roughly 50 years later, the Supreme Court has now decided 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade on the basis that the right to an abortion is not constitutional. This contradicts the previous Court’s decision and the historical tradition of maintaining and protecting the Supreme Court’s precedents. As a result, abortion rights are now determined by individual states. As of July 9, 2022, abortion procedures have been or will soon be prohibited in 17 states and severely restricted in 4 states. In 9 others, abortion is currently legal but remains highly uncertain.**
We, the Executive Board of Kasamahan, acknowledge the threat that this new ruling poses to women’s rights, reproductive rights, and the ability to exercise democracy across the United States. We stand in solidarity with the women, transgender, and non-binary communities whose freedom and rights have been impacted, and we support the marginalized communities—individuals of color and/or of low-income backgrounds—who are disproportionately affected by this decision. In addition, we recognize that this decision sets a precedent for future injustices and that the current leadership of the US Supreme Court poses further threats to our human rights, including—but not limited to—same-sex relationships and contraception.
In a country that prides itself on its freedom & democracy, we refuse to tolerate the decisions—past, present, and future—that actively strip its citizens of both.
The Executive Board of Kasamahan
*Jane Roe is a fictional name used to protect the identity of the plaintiff; her legal name is Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey
**Visit this link for constant updates on state abortion laws: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html
ROE V. WADE INFO DOCUMENT