Nation’s Leading Pro-Choice Advocacy Group Announces Reality of Roe SCOTUS Campaign
For Immediate Release: June 28, 2018
With Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court, NARAL Pro-Choice America joined the National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Indivisible on a press call to discuss the emergency facing abortion rights and other fundamental freedoms and civil rights in our country, which are now in graver danger than ever. In the most recent term, the Supreme Court turned its back on women in numerous decisions with Justice Neil Gorsuch, handpicked by Donald Trump and the anti-choice movement for a seat stolen by Mitch McConnell, casting the deciding vote against women.
Now, one vote is the only thing that stands in the way of overturning Roe v. Wade, undoing decades of progress for women and families, and banning legal abortion outright. For decades, a multi-million-dollar, extreme, anti-choice movement has quietly and aggressively chipped away at a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion in state legislatures, in lower courts, and now from within the Trump administration. Their stated goal, clearly and loudly, is to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Now we know there is a multimillion dollar campaign to make good on the promise Donald Trump made on the campaign trail to install a justice on the Court that is dedicated to overturning Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. This is not a drill. The lawsuits necessary to overturn Roe and criminalize abortion, as well as some forms of contraception, are already moving through the courts,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “We are ready. We know that in all 50 states in this country, the majority of Americans do not want to punish women, believe in legal access to abortion, know what’s at stake, and are ready to get out and fight this. These Senators, who have been able to hide from these extreme views, are going to be put under the spotlight in the upcoming campaign, for the next days, weeks, and months, and be forced to answer for their positions and their votes like never before.”
“This will come down to whether or not every single Democrat in the Senate sticks together, and if we can pick up one or two Republicans as well. That is a path to victory, that is possible, but we have to focus our energy on what works, and that’s what Indivisible groups will do,” said Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of Indivisible. “In order for us to win this fight in the long-term, we have to retake the Senate. That one-two punch, defeating the nominee by holding Democrats in the Senate together now and for the next three months, and retaking the Senate in November, that is the pathway to victory.”
“The bottom line for Planned Parenthood, our millions of patients, and our 11 million supporters is this: The Senate should reject any nominee who will not protect health or rights, especially anyone who would overturn Roe,” said Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President. “One in four women in this country have an abortion—and the vast majority of Americans want this health care to remain safe, legal and constitutionally protected.”
“Justice Kennedy’s retirement sounds the alarm over the future of civil rights in this country,” said Fatima Goss-Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Make no mistake, Kennedy’s retirement means the balance of the court will shift, setting back people’s rights—including women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ individuals—for an entire generation. The stakes have never been higher. It’s time to fight hard for the future of our democracy.”
The deeply-divided decisions from the Supreme Court this week are a clear warning that our most cherished values are in jeopardy, and now hang in the balance. For decades, the anti-choice movement has quietly and aggressive chipped away at reproductive rights in state legislatures, lower courts, the Trump administration, and now the Supreme Court. Americans know what’s at stake: Trump has long promised to only nominate justices who overturn the right to legal abortion. This is not a drill: the lawsuits necessary to overturn Roe are already moving through the lower courts, and extreme anti-choice activists boast that they only need one new Trump justice to end legal abortion. This comes at a time where we have elected officials openly calling for the capital punishment of women who have abortions. The threat to women couldn’t be any clearer, and we can’t and won’t go back to the days when abortion was illegal in this country. This isn’t about politics, it is about actual people’s lives.
NARAL will launch a 50-state strategy campaign, Reality of Roe, to create meaningful opportunities for people across the country to take action—to speak out, to stand up and to fight for our fundamental freedoms. This campaign is about the Supreme Court, it’s about our states, it’s about protecting our America. Our 1.5 million members were made for this moment. The vast majority of Americans believe that women should have access to legal abortion. There are more of us than there is of them, we are organizing and engaged, and we are ready.