Legal Momentum Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Roe v. Wade and eliminated the federal right to abortion. The Dobbs decision is harrowing, but it is not surprising. For decades, legislators have restricted access to abortion and prevented many people—particularly low-income women of color—from receiving safe and affordable reproductive health care. The consequences of today’s ruling are far-reaching and dangerous. While this decision stands to impact every person in this country, certain groups, like women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, including queer, non-binary, and transgender men, are disproportionally at risk.
Legal Momentum has spent more than 50 years working to advance and protect women’s rights and gender equality through the law. We have seen first-hand the disproportionate burdens and harms imposed on women and girls, particularly low-income BIPOC women and girls, due to unequal access to legal protections and economic opportunity. Through our Women Valued Initiative, which works to center the economic needs of the most vulnerable women, including women of color, immigrant women, and women in low-wage work, we know that abortion restrictions, coupled with the lack of economic support for women, will exacerbate existing inequities.
Women have long been tasked with caregiving without access to basic maternal care, pregnancy accommodations, paid family leave, paid time off, and affordable childcare. Today, by overruling the federal right to abortion, the Court stripped women of their remaining autonomy to safeguard their own futures. The impact of this decision on lower-income pregnant people may be devastating. Unlike people with means in our country, who have and will likely continue to be able to access abortion post-Dobbs, lower-income pregnant people will face even greater obstacles accessing abortion, like risking their jobs and financial security to take time off work and pay to travel out of state to seek an abortion. And some will not be able to access abortion at all. More broadly, many individuals will be forced to give birth in a country that systematically fails to support parents and families. In this new post-Dobbs era, pregnant people will now be vulnerable to criminalization for pregnancy outcomes.
As soon as this decision was released, millions of people lost access to safe abortions and millions more are at risk. But all hope is not lost. There is a path forward to protecting a pregnant person’s fundamental right to safeguard their bodily autonomy. Some states are passing legislation to protect the right to an abortion. New York, California, and Connecticut are just a few examples. Legal Momentum and other civil rights organizations will continue to advocate for the rights and bodily autonomy of women, pregnant people, and the LGBTQ+ community.
- Do you, or does someone you know, need an abortion? This resource can help you find the closest provider.
- Need help traveling to access abortion? Abortion funds can help! See here for a list of funds.
- If you are passionate about protecting an individual’s right to reproductive freedom, you can contact your state representative and vote for political candidates that align with your values.