An Attack on Bodily Autonomy That Entrenches Racial Inequity

Background photo of the Supreme Court building with overlaying white and yellow text that reads "An Attack on Bodily Autonomy... An Attack on Black, Brown, & Other Women of Color that Entrenches Existing Racial Inequity"

We are shocked and outraged by the decision this morning in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The Court’s reversal of the fifty-year-long precedent that pregnant people have a right to make choices about their reproductive health is callous, cruel, and legally wrong. It is an attack on bodily autonomy, guts constitutional protections on privacy, and undermines the doctrine of stare decisis. It is also an attack on Black, Brown, and other women of color and entrenches existing racial inequity.

Women of color already face disparate barriers to reproductive health care and experience poorer outcomes than white women in all areas of reproductive health as a result of racism embedded in the economy, implicit and explicit bias in our health care system, and other policy decisions. Moreover, the reasoning of the opinion is another dangerous step to deprive women, LGBTQ+ persons, persons with disabilities, and others of the right to make decisions about their bodies, families, and lives. This attack on reproductive freedom is a bellwether for future decisions to maintain white, male, cis hegemony. Today the Court took away the rights of pregnant people, but the reasoning of the decision places any right found in privacy at risk.

This struggle is not over. As Bayard Rustin said: “let us be outraged by injustice, but not destroyed by it.” The harm of this decision is incalculable, we are outraged by it, but we will reverse it through our collective action.

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