Statement from the ACLU on the overturning of Roe v. Wade
Supreme Court Issues Devastating Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade
JACKSON, Miss. — The Supreme Court issued a shameful ruling today overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago.
While abortion is still legal today in Mississippi, politicians have passed what is known as a trigger law. The 2007 law is designed to ban nearly all abortions, and will go into effect 10 days after the Attorney General certifies the decision issued by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. This Mississippi law would penalize anyone performing or attempting to perform an abortion with a felony offense and up to ten years in prison.
In addition, the ruling in this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will set off a chain reaction with states banning abortion and criminalizing essential care throughout entire regions of the country.
This decision is an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and reproductive freedom. Half the states in the country are expected to ban abortion, denying the 36 million women the fundamental right to decide for themselves whether and when to become a parent. That includes 600,000 women in Mississippi.
“After today’s decision, Mississippi politicians are getting ready to turn back the clock nearly 50 years on our fundamental rights and force women and everyone who can become pregnant into a second-class status, putting Mississippi on the wrong side of history, once again, “ said Jarvis Dortch, executive director at ACLU of Mississippi.
“Make no mistake: Politicians won’t stop here. The same anti-abortion extremists seeking to control our bodies are coming for our right to access birth control and gender-affirming care, marry who we love, and vote. The path to taking back our rights is long, but the ACLU will be there every step of the way until we all have the power to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families,” said Vara Lyons, policy counsel at ACLU of Mississippi.
As some Mississippians have already experienced due to severe obstacles to abortion care, banning abortion leaves many with no other option than to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, derailing their education and career plans, and making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner. Today’s ruling will also have deadly consequences, with the harm falling hardest on Black women and other people of color who already face a severe maternal mortality crisis in Mississippi. If abortion is banned nationwide, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent nationwide, and 33 percent among Black women.
Banning abortion will have an immediate and devastating impact on women and all people who can become pregnant, taking from them a right that has been central to their ability to plan their lives, families, and careers. But the burdens will disproportionately fall on women, communities of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, undocumented immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ communities. This opinion will also lead to pregnancy losses being subject to suspicion, investigation, and arrest, and patients and doctors facing charges and jail.
Anti-abortion politicians have put Mississippi on the wrong side of history for too long, and the ACLU is determined to not to let them off the hook. Politicians who do not believe in protecting the civil rights and liberties of their constituents have no business in governors’ mansions, in state attorneys general’s offices, on state supreme court benches, or in state legislatures. We will be here to hold them to account.