For Immediate Release: July 22, 2021
Direct challenge to Roe underscores acute threat to reproductive freedom
Washington, DC — Today, the state of Mississippi submitted their opening brief in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, explicitly calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This case concerns Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. There is no path for the Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi’s abortion ban without overturning Roe’s protections.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement in response:
“The state of Mississippi is explicitly seeking to end the constitutional right to abortion and subvert the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support Roe and the legal right to abortion. This has always been the anti-choice movement’s agenda behind closed doors—now they’re operating in plain sight.”
This case was filed in March 2018 by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the last remaining clinic providing abortion care in Mississippi—to block the state’s blatantly unconstitutional ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The U.S. Supreme Court announced in May that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a direct challenge to Roe. If Roe fell tomorrow, 24 states would likely take action to ban abortion outright. Twelve states — including Mississippi — already have “trigger bans” in place, which would ban abortion automatically if Roe is overturned.
Across the country, anti-choice politicians have been laser-focused on attacking reproductive freedom. So far in 2021, anti-choice state lawmakers have already introduced, advanced, or passed more than 315 bills attacking abortion access. This year, over 90 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe was decided.
Efforts to overturn Roe and criminalize abortion care are wildly out of touch with the values of the vast majority of people who believe that abortion should be legal. Polling has found that 77% support Roe v. Wade, and there is no state in the country where banning abortion is popular.
Restrictions and bans on abortion care block or push access out of reach for many. These burdens disproportionately fall on those already facing the most significant barriers to accessing care due to systemic racism and inequities, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; members of the LGBTQ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
It is critical that Congress take action to protect access to abortion care—not only by ending harmful bans and restrictions on abortion care, but also by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act to safeguard the legal right to abortion in the United States before the Supreme Court decides on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.