Statement on Supreme Court Draft Opinion
Statement from Lawyers for Civil Rights on the U.S. Supreme Court Draft Opinion
Leaked Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade Would Disproportionately Impact People of Color, Low-Income Individuals
May 4, 2022
Earlier this week, a U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion which would overrule Roe v. Wade became public. If this opinion is issued as drafted, it would represent a blatant attack on reproductive rights, privacy, and access to safe medical care throughout the country – and carry with it tremendous civil rights implications.
Although the leaked opinion is not yet final, any ruling that undermines Roe’s protections would be shouldered disproportionately by marginalized groups, particularly people of color and low-income individuals, including LGBTQ+ people. We know this because those groups are already disproportionately harmed by policies limiting access to sex education, contraception, and health care. Black women in Mississippi, for example, experience higher rates of poverty, partner violence, lack of insurance, and inadequate sexual and reproductive information, and will face greater barriers in reaching abortion services.
While current Massachusetts law keeps Roe protections intact, at least 26 states may ban or severely limit access to abortions if Roe is overturned or even significantly weakened. Local governments across the country warn that the ban, if allowed to take effect, would exacerbate discrimination, and deepen health disparities along racial and socioeconomic lines. This burden would largely fall on communities of color.
If a ruling along the lines of the leaked opinion ultimately issues, it will untether decades of civil rights advocacy and further expose current disparities that pervade the U.S. healthcare system:
- Black women face maternal mortality at a rate three times higher than white women;
- People of color often receive poorer quality health care than their white counterparts;
- There is no maternity leave offered nationally and no universal subsidized child care; and
- Mental healthcare remains inaccessible to many, particularly communities of color.
LCR is committed to ensuring equal access to healthcare for all and will continue to fight for healthcare justice for our client communities, no matter the fate of Roe.