Today, in its consequential Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, striking down the only remaining federal abortion protections as states continue waging an unprecedented assault on reproductive rights across the nation. It is expected that abortion will be almost immediately outlawed in 26 states, with several more sure to follow, leaving at least 36 million people without access to abortion care and services. In response, leaders from the State Innovation Exchange issued the following statements:
Jennifer Driver, Senior Director of Reproductive Rights at the State Innovation Exchange, said:
“Today, the Supreme Court removed a constitutional right that many have relied on for 50 years. The anti-abortion majority court has completely abandoned the fundamental right to bodily autonomy – and will allow states to control the reproductive decisions for people in this country. It is unconscionable. States that enact restrictions on abortion access are not interested in supporting families, but rather in controlling people’s reproductive lives – especially Black women and other people of color.
“Regardless of this decision, the need for abortions will not stop, and pro-abortion state legislators are prepared for this moment. We are currently working with state lawmakers on a pledge to protect, defend, and expand access to abortion in their states. There is a wide range of policies state lawmakers can put into place, including codifying the right to abortion in state law, protecting people seeking abortions from being sued or criminalized, authorizing Medicaid funds to be used towards abortions, and much more. We expect every state legislator who cares about fundamental human rights to push for these protections.
“We must work differently to build power and reclaim government by, for, and with the people to defeat this extremist, reactionary, anti-progress movement. We at the State Innovation Exchange are committed to bringing together lawmakers at the state level in support of abortion access, and in this five-alarm fire moment, we can’t sit back. We need the tried-and-true policies that work, and we need new creative solutions. The health and rights of millions of people across the nation depend on it.”
Kelly Baden, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the State Innovation Exchange, said:
“Make no mistake: the Supreme Court overturning a right that we’ve organized our lives and society around for 50 years shows us how precarious our democracy is. We deserve better. Our country deserves better.
“Today’s decision flies in the face of what we know to be true: abortion is a human right and is essential to a healthy society.
“Our communities will care for each other as we always have while we work to reimagine what the future of abortion care can look like, taking hope and lessons from our partners around the world. When this damaging decision is paired with our country’s voting rights crisis, ongoing white supremacy, and systematic gaps in support for moms, parents, and workers everywhere, it is clear the U.S. stands at an inflection point. Here at the State Innovation Exchange, we will build power with state lawmakers and reclaim government so that it works better for us all. It’s time to put power back in the hands of the people.”
Mississippi state Representative Chris Bell:
“Mississippi anti-abortion legislators knew that their 15-week abortion ban was a flagrant violation of human rights and the Constitution when they passed it 4 years ago, but they held out hope that the Supreme Court would save it. Today, the Court went a step further, dismantling all federal abortion protections and opening the door for abortion bans in half the states in the country.
“This is an ominous sign of things to come: the Supreme Court has signaled that it will not only allow conservative legislatures to pass unimaginably cruel policies, but it is willing to apply those policies to the entire nation. So long as we continue to let far-right legislators dictate national policy through the Supreme Court, there is no limit to the horrors that will unfold. My constituents in Jackson, the people of Mississippi, and Americans nationwide deserve better, and now more than ever, we must hold our elected officials accountable.”