Condemning the Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs
Condemning the Supreme Court Decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health
Reckless and Dangerous Decision Undermines Healthcare Disproportionately Endangering People of Color, Low Income Individuals
The U.S. Supreme Court has eviscerated Roe v. Wade, stripping the fundamental right to reproductive health. This decision is an abomination. It is a blatant attack on access to safe healthcare, reproductive justice, privacy, autonomy, and individual liberty and freedom. Civil rights implications are overwhelming, as it stands to exacerbate preexisting health and economic disparities.
Dobbs unravels nearly fifty years of constitutional protections and devolves the power to regulate reproductive health to the states. This is dangerous and irresponsible. With today’s decision, “trigger laws” have already resulted in the immediate illegalization of abortion in thirteen states. At least twelve additional states will likely follow suit. The lack of consistency and uniformity will wreak havoc on people trying to organize their day-to-day lives.
While we have not yet seen the extent of the decision’s impact, the radical rollback of healthcare access will disproportionately impact people of color and low-income individuals nationally, particularly in the South and Midwest. We know this because:
- People of color are more likely to live in states with restrictive laws surrounding reproductive health and already experience poorer health outcomes and racism in the healthcare system.
- Due to the weak social safety net, denying people access to reproductive justice has immense, long-term economic impacts, which perpetuate cycles of poverty and domestic violence.
Beyond these direct health and economic effects, the majority opinion indicates that the Court may further constrict the scope of the federal constitutional right to privacy. Such a development would be catastrophic. It would jeopardize the viability of decisions grounded in the right to privacy, such as those safeguarding interracial marriage, marriage equality and access to contraception.
Dobbs will undoubtedly unleash chaos. It will promote the criminalization of people seeking — or providing — reproductive health. This will spill over across state lines in ways that could easily resemble scenes from the Fugitive Slave Act era. It is critical that states that maintain access respond forcefully to eliminate all remaining barriers and obstacles to reproductive health such as waiting periods. States must also work with trusted community partners and healthcare providers to proactively eliminate the chilling effect created by this injustice.
Public and private actors at all levels must step up aggressively to protect reproductive health. Multiple options exist, including Congressional action to codify relevant protections and the enactment of a Constitutional Amendment to save people’s lives.
LCR is deeply and unequivocally committed to ensuring equal access to healthcare for all and will continue to fight for healthcare justice for our client communities. Learn more about access to reproductive health in Massachusetts and visit this online resource guide for New England.
Learn more about LCR’s healthcare work and the re-launch of our medical-legal partnership now known as LCR | HealthJustice.
The full text of the decision is available here.