Even knowing this dreaded day was near does not make it any less shocking. While we are fortunate that the right to abortion is not currently at risk here in Massachusetts, we are no less outraged by the horror unfolding around the country. Today’s decision by the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to overturn Roe v. Wade has dealt a blow not only for abortion rights but for our right to bodily integrity and autonomy from LGBTQ+ rights to access to contraception and more.
This ruling in combination with two other SCOTUS decisions regarding conceal and carry weapons and Miranda rights also exposes the hypocrisy of the SCOTUS majority to limit state rights on the one hand and guarantee them on the other and to mislead on what it means to have rights derived from the Constitution.
There will be much analysis to sift through in the coming days, months and years…but one thing will remain constant:
JDI’s commitment to reproductive justice and civil rights with a gender equity and racial justice lens!
In addition to abortion and contraceptive access being essential health care that is vital to one’s social and economic participation and reproductive choices, for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, abortion access is a matter of safety. Those who choose to cause harm are known to weaponize a person’s bodily autonomy and reproductive choices as tools of violence. Preventing someone from having an abortion or forcing them to stay pregnant can be an effective way to keep someone dependent and trapped. On the flip side, when survivors are able to choose for themselves whether to continue pregnancies, it can mean they are safely able to leave those causing them harm and unsafe conditions and create new lives for themselves.
This dynamic is at the root of one of JDI’s policy priorities – to add coercive control to our state’s domestic violence protection order (209A).
It is also why JDI continues to advocate for the Healthy Youth Act. It’s essential that our youth receive medically accurate, LGBTQ inclusive and age-appropriate sexual health education that offers lessons on a comprehensive range of topics, including healthy relationships, consent, sexual orientation and gender identity, and the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It’s why our expansive advocacy includes calling for sensible gun laws, criminal justice reforms, and other efforts to remedy these attacks on our cherished constitutional guarantees.
And it’s why we will not stop until the Women’s Health Protection Act is passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.
We refuse to be silenced, to be defeated.
Thanks in advance for keeping survivors front and center and for being in community with us. We can’t do any of this without your support.
The JDI Team