Last night we learned that the Supreme Court intends to strike down Roe vs. Wade. We know this based on an unprecedented unauthorized leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that at least five of nine justices allegedly support.
This reversal of this precedent was the stated intent of our former president when he appointed three of the current sitting justices.
I am angry. I am worried. And I have the feeling that the second shoe has dropped.
Those of us who have spent our adult lives fighting for reproductive freedom have dreaded the coming of this day for some time: a reversal of 50 years of settled law allowing women to determine the most critical decision in their lives – namely whether, when and with whom to have children.
The result of allowing a majority in any state legislature to remove this fundamental right to abortion from women will inevitably be more back-alley abortions as desperate women turn to their only option; more women bearing children into circumstances where they are not wanted; more women forced into a life that isn’t of their choice, whether from teen pregnancy, bringing another child into a family stressed by poverty, abandoning a career path that bearing and raising another child requires, or tying a woman to an abuser.
Discussion of abortion rights has always struck me as strangely devoid of context around how women become pregnant in the first place, and the realities of an unpredictable single sex act, including lack of consent, failure of birth control or myriad other circumstances.
The only thing to focus on is what we can do now.
Here’s what I am doing:
- I am calling Senator Feinstein and Senator Padilla, and insisting the Senate take a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act (HR 3755), which has already passed the House. The Women’s Health Protection Act prevents any governmental intrusions upon a person seeking an abortion.
- Today, Governor Newsom, along with Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, announced their intention to put forward an amendment that would enshrine reproductive choice in the California Constitution. An amendment can be placed on the ballot to be ratified by the voters with a two-thirds majority in the Assembly and State Senate.
I will be calling my Assemblymember and my State Senator and voicing my strong support for that amendment. (As of right now, my State Senator doesn’t support choice, which is one of the reasons I’m running to replace her!)
- Finally, I will be checking in on my friends. Women and girls are afraid – but so are our allies in this fight. If Roe is struck down on the grounds that there is no constitutional right to privacy, then other decisions that address our personal freedoms, like the right to love whom and how we choose, and the right to vote, are also at risk.
The only thing to focus on is what we can do now; today.