Today the Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade and Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, ending constitutional protections for abortion in a 6-3 decision. This ruling, a departure from 50 years of established law, makes abortion immediately inaccessible and often illegal to obtain in large portions of the country. Starting today, any person with a uterus now risks having to carry a pregnancy to term against their will and regardless of the risk, possibly at the cost of their own lives.
When we learned of this eventuality through the leak of a draft opinion in May, I said: "Unions have always known that comprehensive healthcare is a fundamental right, and this decision will make it harder for pregnant people to make their own choices and chart their own destinies."
Our fears have become a reality. Overturning Roe and Casey after nearly a half a century makes safe access to healthcare, the protection of bodily autonomy, and the preservation of a person’s right to choose impossible for many across the United States. Today, a person’s right to plan their own life, on their own terms, was stolen. Notably, this reversal further deepens and worsens the preexisting and profound health inequities that exist in our country.
As we begin to live in a world without a constitutional right to abortion, we must reckon with the enormous consequences of this ruling. Today's decision does not just imperil abortion rights, it also calls into question other fundamental rights protected by the constitution, including the right to same-sex marriage and the right to contraception.
In a little more than 24 hours, the Court has issued two rulings that put Americans at immediate risk. In the first decision, the Court decreed that states have no authority to regulate concealed weapons. In the second, the Court held that states have unlimited authority to police the bodies of pregnant people. These decisions are not easily reconciled, except that they are nakedly political, based on profound misunderstanding and misapplication of history and legal precedent, and grounded in a brutal and backward worldview that makes us all less safe and less free.
The system is broken. The legitimacy of the Supreme Court must be reevaluated. I stand with the citizens who are protesting this morning's ruling. Today is a good reminder that our power doesn't come from laws; it comes from everyday working people, united, who remain on the front lines of the fight for a better world, even on sad days like today. Together, we are our solace, our refuge, and our strength, and we must stand united to face what comes next.
-Ray Menard, AGMA President