June 24th, 2022 will go down in history as a dark day for women everywhere.
Today’s landmark decision will have catastrophic effects on the lives and rights of women across and beyond the United States, in particular, survivors of gender-based violence. We stand with those hearing the news of the U.S Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade in shock, horror, and in deep disappointment. It is unthinkable that after fifty years of women having the right to make decisions about their own bodies, the Constitution no longer guarantees the right to an abortion in the United States.
Reproductive rights are women’s rights. Women’s rights are human rights. The right to choose is an essential protection as we move towards structural gender equity. In the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Abortion prohibition by the state…denies them full autonomy and full equality with men.”
As a result of this decision, access to abortions will be limited for the most marginalized communities in society, including Indigenous and Black women, women living in poverty, women who are precariously employed, women with disAbilities and for those living in rural and remote communities. The denial of reproductive rights through this decision marks another act of gender-based violence enacted upon women that will ultimately hinder the efforts of the last fifty years towards gender equality. As Indigenous, Black and racialized women, women with disabilities, gender-diverse individuals and girls continue to experience disproportionate rates of gender-based violence, they too will be disproportionately impacted by this decision. Historically, Black women, Indigenous women and women with disAbilities have been subject to state violence and have been denied reproductive rights, including through forced reproduction and coerced sterilization. Today, Black and Indigenous women continue to face barriers to accessing safe healthcare. Additionally, the voices of gender-diverse communities are so often silenced within discussions surrounding reproductive rights.
We feel the grief of feminist, reproductive, and human rights activists and the women that will be most impacted, and we stand beside those committed to resistance and action in the face of this devastating decision.