Action Alert: Roe v. Wade Overturned
What you need to know about the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision
What You Can Do Tonight
Join us at the state capitol at 7:00 PM to rally in support of reproductive freedom.
When: June 24 at 7:00 PM
Where: 1700 W Washington Street, Phoenix
The Dobbs v. Jackson Case
Since early May, when a draft of the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked, the fate of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey has been clear. Today that knowledge was made a concrete reality when the Supreme Court reversed injunctions against the Mississippi abortion ban at the heart of the case, overturning decades of precedent established by Roe and Casey.
The path that brought us to this moment has been long. Dobbs v. Jackson began in 2018 with a Mississippi state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Like every state law passed in clear contradiction of the rights to abortion care protected under Roe and Casey, Mississippi’s 15-week ban was written in expectation of a legal challenge, with the intent to trigger a reevaluation of that precedent. That this law and this case would be the vehicle to overturn Roe and Casey was never inevitable, but in the decades-long project of the politicization of the Supreme Court by the reactionary right wing, this general outcome has always been the goal.
Abortion Law in Arizona
Following the model legislation at issue in the Dobbs case, the Arizona state legislature passed a similar 15-week ban on abortion earlier this year – to be signed into law by Governor Ducey days later, with the same stroke as the anti-trans laws SB 1138 and SB 1165. 90 days after the legislature adjourns sine die, bringing the 2022 regular session to a close, the 15-week ban will go into effect. Until this Fall, fetal viability will remain the legal standard in Arizona for abortion access. However, alongside a host of roadblocks and other restrictions to abortion care, a 19th century territorial law that threatens abortion providers with two to five years imprisonment remains in the Arizona Revised Statues, and there will almost certainly be an involved process of legal disputes in the near future to settle the question of abortion access in a post-Roe Arizona.
Given today’s Supreme Court decision and the challenging legal and political landscape of our state, there is no guarantee of access to abortion care moving forward.
The Ramifications of Today’s Decision
Alongside the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson overturning Roe and Casey, Justice Clarence Thomas released a concurring opinion (beginning on page 117 of the linked document), sharing his own additional reasons to reject a constitutional guarantee of abortion rights and forecasting a troubling future for other fundamental rights protected by Supreme Court decisions. In his own words, “The resolution of this case is thus straightforward. Because the Due Process Clause does not secure any substantive rights, it does not secure a right to abortion. […] For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
After Roe, the threat is clear. Our rights to have gay sex, to form relationships, and to get married are all in jeopardy. It’s clearer now than ever that the courts won’t save us. But there are unavoidable truths that will win out in the face of these unconscionable attacks. That no one should be criminalized for their sex. No one should be criminalized for the kind of sex they have. No one should be criminalized for changing their sex. No one should be criminalized for how and when they choose to start a family. No one should be criminalized for the outcome of their pregnancy.
The future is uncertain, but the fight continues. Sign up to volunteer today.