For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Washington, DC — Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case regarding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. There is no path for the Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi’s ban without overturning Roe and ending the constitutional right to abortion as we know it.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“The constitutional right to abortion faces a terrifying and unprecedented threat. This moment of crisis is the culmination of the anti-choice movement’s decades-long efforts to undermine the will of the overwhelming majority of people in this country who support the legal right to abortion. Make no mistake: The future of reproductive freedom is in grave danger, and the time to take bold action to protect it is now. It is absolutely critical that our leaders in the Senate pass the Women’s Health Protection Act immediately to safeguard the right to abortion throughout our country.”
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization 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 Supreme Court announced in May that it would hear the case. In its opening brief, the state of Mississippi explicitly called on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If Roe is overturned, 26 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.
The Court’s decision to hear this case is the result of the anti-choice movement’s decades-long efforts to install anti-choice judges at all levels of the federal judiciary. Former President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) worked in lockstep with the anti-choice movement to cement a supermajority on the Supreme Court that is unmistakably hostile to reproductive freedom. Now, this supermajority will have the opportunity to entirely overturn the constitutional right to abortion.
This year has seen more than 100 restrictions on abortion enacted at the state level—making this the worst year for abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was decided. This includes Texas’ SB 8, the law deputizing private citizens to act as bounty hunters to enforce the state’s unconstitutional ban on abortion before many people even know they are pregnant. The Supreme Court refused to block SB 8 before it went into effect on September 1 and has since allowed it to remain in effect as it deliberates on two cases related to the law’s unprecedented vigilante enforcement mechanism.
Efforts to overturn Roe and criminalize abortion care are wildly out of touch with the values of the vast majority of people in this country. Polling has found that 8 in 10 people in the United States support legal abortion. Polls also show that Americans support upholding Roe v. Wade by a roughly 2-to-1 margin 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, 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.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—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 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.