WASHINGTON, DC – The National Health Law Program condemns the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has eliminated access to abortion services for millions of people in the United States. In the decision released today, the Supreme Court held six to three that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, overturning precedent in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey.
Today’s decision will certainly lead to immediate abortion restrictions in states across the country, including seven states with pre-Roe abortion bans and thirteen states with trigger laws designed to ban abortion now that Roe has been overturned. Beyond the abortion bans that states already have on the books, this decision will embolden hostile states to double down on restricting access and we should expect even more radical legislation be enacted in the next year. These restrictions on abortion access disproportionately harm people who already face structural barriers to care, including Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, young people, LGTBQ individuals, and others.
Elizabeth Taylor, Executive Director at NHeLP: Today’s Supreme Court decision will not make the need for abortion disappear – it simply reinforces that where you live and how much you make determine your access to care. The wealthy and privileged will always be able to access abortion – it is people with low-incomes, Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people in rural areas, and other people who face structural barriers to care who will be disproportionately harmed by today’s decision. For decades the National Health Law Program has advocated for the health rights of individuals and communities with the fewest resources and least political clout. Today’s decision doesn’t change that. We will continue to fight to ensure anyone, regardless of their income, race, or zip code, can access abortion.
Cat Duffy, Policy Analyst at NHeLP: Access to abortion is a fundamental right – everyone should have bodily autonomy and be able to decide if they want to become a parent or when. Today’s decision will make accessing abortion even more expensive and complicated than it already was – eliminating access for those without the resources to face these financial and logistical hurdles. As one of the 1 in 4 people who has had an abortion in their lifetime, I know first hand how important affordable and timely access to abortion is. The National Health Law Program will continue to fight to expand access to the full range of essential reproductive health services, including abortion, for every single person in the United States
Fabiola Carrión, Directora de Salud Sexual y Reproductiva en NHeLP: El aborto es un derecho humano y una intervención medica segura y común. Una de cuatro mujeres en los EEUU tendrá un aborto en sus vidas, incluyendo a miles de Latines. Debido al fallo de la Corte Suprema, millones de personas no podrán acceder a la atención médica esencial que salva vidas. Sabemos que las personas más afectadas son quienes actualmente enfrentan obstáculos discriminatorios para la atención médica: afroamericanas, indígenas y otras minorías étnicas, personas con discapacidades, personas en áreas rurales, jóvenes, indocumentadas y de bajos recursos. Aunque estamos decepcionades, no pararemos de luchar para que este derecho sea protegido en cada estado y territorio del país.
This decision is the result of a decades long movement by anti-abortion extremists to stigmatize abortion and eliminate access to this safe and needed health care service. In 2022 alone, over 500 restrictions have been introduced at the state level and over 1,000 restrictions have been enacted since Roe was handed down. Data after the implementation of S.B. 8 in Texas shows that banning abortion after 6 weeks has dramatically increased travel times and costs, as patients have to travel up to hundreds of miles to access abortion. These costs will only increase as today’s decision will allow more devastating restrictions to go into effect across the country.
NHeLP will continue to advocate for the right to abortion, as we do for any other health service, and invite everyone to use our resources like our Abortion is Health Care webpage.