Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Access, But The Fight for Reproductive Justice Isn’t OverToday’s decision strikes down racist Louisiana abortion ban, leaves in place hundreds of restrictions targeting young people and women of color
June 29, 2020
(Washington, DC) — Statement by Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity in response to the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in the case of June Medical Services v. Russo.
“Today the Supreme Court fulfilled its obligation and struck down Louisiana’s discriminatory clinic shutdown law. While this is a win for abortion access, our work is far from over. In the midst of a global uprising for Black lives, we cannot ignore the ways that Black young people, women, trans and nonbinary people continue to be harmed by the hundreds of abortion restrictions left in place, policymakers’ failure to address Black maternal death, and the ongoing legacy of white supremacy.
“The hundreds of abortion restrictions across the country are part of a centuries’-old scheme to control the reproductive destinies of Black and Indigenous people and women of color. The Louisiana law is gone, but those restrictions remain. Though abortion is still legal in this country, it is inaccessible to far too many. We cannot stop fighting until each person can get the abortion care they need.
“Abortion is essential, time-sensitive health care, but access to it is buried under an avalanche of racist and sexist restrictions. Why? Because in the 47 years since Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists and lawmakers have colluded to cut off every avenue to safe, legal abortion, year after year, state by state, law by law. They have done this to gain political points, instead of meeting the needs of communities. Instead of addressing unemployment, homelessness, or endemic racism. Even now, as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps America and devastates communities of color — who lack access to essential health care in the best of times — these efforts have been accelerated by anti-abortion extremists eager to exploit this public health crisis to further chip away at abortion access.
“We must end this now. We call on Congress to enact the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Woman Act) that strikes down the cruel and racist Hyde Amendment and makes abortion affordable for all. We also demand that Congress pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) to protect abortion access from medically unnecessary restrictions like the admitting privileges law struck down today. Finally, we call on state and federal lawmakers to end the forced parental involvement laws that take away young people’s access to timely, confidential abortion care. Only with bold, proactive legislation can we ensure universal and easily accessible abortion for anyone who needs it.
“Now is the time to rise together and demand true change that reckons with the racist, sexist history of reproductive oppression in this country. It’s time to tear down the stigma, shame, lies, and bans, and build a future where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. That change will not come from the courts — it will come from our communities, where we will organize and build lasting power together.
URGE envisions a liberated world where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. To achieve our vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people of low-income. As a state-driven national organization, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest.