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The End of Roe

On June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the landmark decisions that protected a pregnant person’s right to choose whether or when to carry a pregnancy to term. 

This outrageous decision is the culmination of a 50-year, attack on abortion access and women’s healthcare launched by right-wing groups deadset on stacking the Court with justices who would do their bidding. And they did. The absolutely cruel decision notes that there is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly protects abortion. This puts not only abortion rights at risk, but every other right not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution – from gay marriage, to contraception, even to private sexual relationships. This is a dark day for America and sadly, it’s just the beginning.

The Republican majority on the Supreme Court have already gutted the Voting Rights Act and other federal legislation—any future transformative legislation is similarly at risk of being dismantled if we don't act. The only current solution to protect abortion rights and the other civil rights we hold dear is to expand our majorities in November, codify Roe, and expand the Supreme Court. 

It would be easy to fall into despair right now—and if you’re like us, you might want to do that for a little while. But there are things we can do. This resource will walk you through:

  1. Crucial facts to know right now
  2. How we got here
  3. What we can do to fix it
  4. Answers to FAQs

Here’s what you need to know right now:

An unelected conservative majority on the Supreme Court, appointed by two presidents who both lost the popular vote, is going to overturn 50 years of precedent and end our right to an abortion.

Republicans have been plotting this moment for years, and have done everything in their power to stack the judiciary with radical judges whose sole purpose is to overturn long-standing constitutional rights like abortion

Losing Roe puts thousands, if not millions, of people at risk – and it particularly impacts low-income people, people of color, and women.

This opinion officially relegates people who can get pregnant to second class citizenship, unable to choose for themselves how they want to live their lives.

The Supreme Court is no longer an institution we can count on to expand constitutional rights. Their goal now is to roll back and restrict the rights we’ve all fought so hard for. This opinion explicitly stated the Republican Supreme Court’s intention to overturn marriage equality, end access to contraception, gut protections for people of color, and more.

Something that’s particularly important to understand: You are not safe even if you live in a Blue state. They are coming for abortion rights, and every other constitutional right we hold dear, in all 50 states.

How we got here

We are in a critical moment in history right now. Because of a 50-year campaign waged by the Republican party and dark money groups, reproductive freedom is under dire threat:

  • Anti-abortion politicians in states like Texas and Mississippi have been successful in their relentless efforts to ban abortions in their states, and seemingly found a friendly audience at the Supreme Court to allow these bans to stay in place. This is paving the way for other Republican-led states to quickly move to ban abortion for millions more people. And if Republicans take control at the federal level, we can expect nationwide bans—bans that would apply to even blue state residents.
  • Far-right politicians have been able to successfully install hundreds of far-right extremist judges—a trend that only escalated under Donald Trump. Together, Trump and Mitch McConnell successfully confirmed over 200 judges to the federal judiciary, including three Supreme Court justices. Trump may be gone, but his judges will be on the bench for the rest of their lives, working to overturn any progressive legislation (especially attempts to protect Roe) passed throughout the country. 
  • Republican state legislatures across the country are continuing to pass hundreds of sweeping racist voter suppression laws, gerrymandered district maps, and laws loosening restrictions on dark money in politics, which all but assure GOP electoral victories for years to come.
  • Historically, these political ploys have been used both as a racist weapon to undermine the political power of minority communities and a political weapon to ensure partisan advantage. This also means there is little recourse to turn the tide of anti-abortion legislation that is being passed easily at the state level—anti-democratic suppression efforts go hand in hand with efforts to strip marginalized people of their bodily autonomy and their ability to receive health care, including abortions.

What we must do RIGHT NOW

The far-right has taken over our democracy at every level from state governments all the way to the Supreme Court. This means we MUST defend and fight for change on many levels at the same time—think of it as if we have multiple fires in the kitchen and unless we put out all of them, the house will burn down.

Attend mass mobilizations to show “We Won’t Go Back”

Over the next few days we’ll be supporting and coordinating with partners like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, MoveOn, UltraViolet and others to plan mass mobilizations and other actions. For the latest mobilizations you should click here! (If you’re not on our rapid response text team, text INDIVISIBLE to 59798 and we’ll get you set up.)

We are also gearing up for a July 4th Recess filled with birddogging anti-choice lawmakers. From June 24th to July 11th, legislators will be in their home districts, celebrating our nation’s promise of freedom even as essential components of that freedom are dismantled. It is a critical moment for constituents to make their voices heard: abortion and contraception must be protected, access to essential health services must be restored, and they cannot allow more rights to slip away. During recess, we will organize to engage directly with candidates and elected officials to get them on the record—not just about the Dobbs decision, but about what’s next. At 4th of July parades, campaign events, and town halls, we will make our voices heard and remind them and the country: we won’t go back.

Ensure we win in November by talking to everyone you know about the extremist Republican Supreme Court

The only way, long term, to take back the Supreme Court is to protect and expand a Democratic majority in the House and Senate and hold the White House.  Abortion is popular – 75% of people and 53% of Republicans believe the choice to get an abortion should be between a pregnant person and their doctor. The Republican extremists on the Supreme Court clearly don’t think so, and we need everyone in the country to know that Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Susan Collins got us into this mess. 

  • 50 years of scheming and executing their plan has worked. Republicans currently have control of not just the Supreme Court but a majority of state governments (24 states already have Republican trifectas), but we have the power to stop them from gaining control of Congress this November. 

Push our electeds to demand/support the structural/transformative changes we need

With extremely slim margins, this Congress proved to be difficult to pass critical legislation this term—like we saw in the voting rights fight. Republicans wielded the filibuster to block bills we need, including a bill to codify abortion rights into federal law. 

  • The Senate held two votes on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), and it was blocked by Republicans (and Manchin). We should continue to use these moments to push our elected representatives and hold them accountable this election. 
  • What we need is a wider progressive majority that will move legislation forward—like WHPA and the Judiciary Act (bill to expand the court)—to protect those advancements from the current Republican SCOTUS. The reality is while we currently have legislative solutions, we can’t get them passed until we have a large enough majority to make obstructionist voices irrelevant.

Helping Communities in Need of Abortion Services & Getting Involved Locally

The best thing you can do right now to help folks locally is to donate to an abortion fund. Despite the leaked opinion, abortion is still legal in this country. If you need care, you can get it. Here are some resources:

We dread moments like this. But there is always – always – a light to follow. Time and time again, activists have held each other through moments of despair, and then joined hands, picked up phones, showed up to rallies and fixed things. We’ve won tough campaigns before. We’ve beaten impossible odds before.

We’ll do it again, together. 

Demand Your Senator Co-sponsor The Markey Court Expansion Bill

Use our script to tell your Senators to co-sponsor the Markey Court Expansion Bill now!

Demand Your Representative Co-sponsor The Jones Court Expansion Bill

Use our call script to tell your Representative to support the Judiciary Act (H.R.2584/S.1141) now.

FAQs

  1. Why aren’t we focused on forcing a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act?
    • The WHPA is a critical piece of legislation that would, at long last, codify abortion protections in federal law. While this bill has already passed the House this Congress, it failed in the Senate twice because of the Republican filibuster. Another vote on WHPA this Congress will not change the views of Republicans, who are actively trying to strip abortion rights and fundamentally want to keep the filibuster in place. This is why we know we need to keep and expand our majorities.
    • Passing the WHPA isn’t a long term solution for protecting abortion, given we can’t trust this Republican Supreme Court to uphold it. They have shown time and time again that they are hostile to abortion rights and all constitutional rights that protect marginalized people. So we must pass WHPA and we must fix the court so we can actually ensure that abortion rights are protected going forward. 
  2. If we have a Democratic trifecta, why aren’t we demanding they deliver on abortion rights?
    • The filibuster still looms large in the Senate – Republicans are wielding it to block most pieces of Democratic legislation, and unfortunately we don’t have a large enough majority on this issue. While we still believe that we have opportunities to get critical legislation passed this Congress that doesn’t require reforming the filibuster, and when we see an opportunity we’ll absolutely take it, we now believe that the most important thing you can do right now is to start fighting to win in November. We need to keep and expand our majorities by electing good Democrats who will fight for our rights.