Editor’s Note: On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi’s ban on abortion care at 15 weeks:
Let’s be clear – the Supreme Court deciding to take this case is of concern and could determine whether the court will allow further prohibitions on safe abortion care. The law in question is ultimately a direct attack on Roe v. Wade, and the right of a pregnant person to seek a safe abortion when they need it. At the Colorado Organization Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights Action Fund, we know too many people are already unable to get services when they need one because of systemic barriers. Ultimately, it’s clear that Roe v. Wade is not and has not ever truly been abortion access for us all.
We will always speak up to defend the right to the full range of reproductive health services and the self-determination of all people. Just like the THOUSANDS of restrictions in place across the country and attacks we see each legislative session in Colorado, Dobbs v Jackson’ Women’s Health Organization has nothing to do with health or safety. The goal of any and all anti-abortion legislation or cases, is to make it harder to provide or to seek an abortion. For decades, Reproductive Justice advocates have been raising concerns over the growing threats to the protections afforded in Roe v Wade, and today, it appears these concerns have been realized.
For decades, politicians have pushed a political agenda to make abortion impossible to access and to perpetuate systemic racism through our laws and regulations. Disproportionately impacting those who already face structural barriers to exercising their human rights: Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities; those struggling to make ends meet; young people; people living with disabilities; rural communities; immigrants; and LGBTQ individuals.
We must defend Roe, but more than that we need to push for abortion justice – to reimagine what it would look like to truly make sure that when someone needs an abortion, they can get care without judgment or barriers.
We need laws, programs, policymakers, and judges that respect the dignity and decisions of all people and support the right to live and thrive in a healthy environment, eliminating all barriers to bodily autonomy. NOT further attacks on safe abortion like we see in Dobbs.
Even though abortion is technically legal in all 50 states, it is not actually accessible – and that has been true for people living on the margins for decades. The law skews towards keeping people pregnant against their will. It policies people’s bodies and criminalizes their decisions. The government should not have that much control over a person’s life. We should be able to make our own decisions about our bodies and futures.
We need to stop allowing lawmakers to impose their personal beliefs or play games with our healthcare by pushing bills that are really only about making care harder to get. We must defend Roe, but more than that we need to push for abortion justice – to reimagine what it would look like to truly make sure that when someone needs an abortion, they can get care without judgment or barriers. That is what we are fighting for, working for and what we know our communities need.
Dusti Gurule is the Executive Director for Colorado Organization Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights Action Fund.
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