On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending 50 years of federal abortion rights in the United States. I cannot express the anger that I feel towards this reckless and dangerous decision. I am infuriated that four middle-aged men (three white) and one middle-aged white woman have the authority to overturn a decision that impacts the autonomy and safety of millions of women: a high proportion of which are marginalized.
Dissenting voices were Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. They wrote that the court decision means that “young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers…from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”
Almost half the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, which is related to a highly restrictive new Mississippi abortion law. The laws will affect women across the United States, many of whom will have to cross state lines to seek reproductive health care, and potentially face criminal charges for their actions. This includes those who have been sexually assaulted, suffered incest, and face grave danger if they carry pregnancy to term.
For me, this is not a political issue, it is a human rights issue. Every woman has the fundamental right to autonomy over her own body. I am incensed that my daughter is growing up in a time where rights for women are sliding backwards rather than moving forwards. I am enraged that other human rights, such as access to contraception, same-sex consensual sexual relations, and same-sex marriage are now at risk.
It is hard to not feel despair and hopelessness right now a lone individual. It is an incredibly difficult and distressing time for so many. I am, however, committed to doing what I can to help. I am donating to groups who provide marginalized women with access to abortion the United States. I am supporting the work of local abortion funds and the Repro Legal Defense Fund, which provides bail support and legal fees for anyone arrested for self-managing their abortion. I am writing to my Member of Parliament about the importance of protecting these rights in Canada. I am signing petitions. Moving forward, I will use my vote to bring about change. I will march and protest. For the sake of our children, and for those women who cannot advocate for themselves, we must show up and fight for a better future together.