Washington, DC – This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Mississippi’s request to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to the state’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in medical emergencies and in the case of severe fetal abnormality. This is the first pre-viability abortion ban that the Court will rule on since Roe v. Wade and a direct challenge to fifty years of legal precedent.
Abortion is health care. It is an essential component of comprehensive health coverage and a common, safe, effective, and necessary reproductive health care service.
Abortion is health care. It is an essential component of comprehensive health coverage and a common, safe, effective, and necessary reproductive health care service. One in four cisgender women in the United States will have an abortion by the age of forty-five. The fundamental right to make decisions about our bodies, lives, and futures is essential to the pursuit of health equity and racial, reproductive, and economic justice. Abortion restrictions are part of the interlocking systems of oppression that deny Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) their constitutional and human rights. Those who already face barriers to health care, including BIPOC, LGBTQI+ people, immigrants, young people, and people with disabilities, stand to be hurt most by abortion bans like Mississippi’s.
NHeLP has worked to defend and advance underserved communities’ access to abortion services since 1973, when we submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in Doe v. Bolton, a companion case to Roe decided on the same day. Roe’s precedent is the floor, not the ceiling, of what people need to access abortions. As we have seen through the Hyde Amendment and other barriers to care, we need sustainable and equitable access to abortion services for everyone.
“The National Health Law Program defends the health care rights of individuals who are underserved and low-income. In a moment when health access is critical, the Supreme Court should not be further curtailing the rights to reproductive health care. Overturning Roe would primarily harm those who have been historically oppressed and have the least access to health services.” said Senior Attorney Fabiola Carrión.
“We stand with our movement partners in Mississippi, generations of freedom fighters and champions on the frontlines of advocacy for reproductive justice, civil rights, and health care for all,” said Staff Attorney Madeline Morcelle. “The Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization threatens the lives, health, and constitutional and human rights of underserved communities, especially Black people, in Mississippi and around the country. We will continue to do everything in our power to promote equitable access to reproductive health care for all.”