FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 24, 2022
WOMEN’S MARCH ON ROANOKE
Statement on Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade
ROANOKE, VA — Today, we join with the majority of Americans who have repeatedly affirmed their support for safe and legal abortion in decrying the Supreme Court's reckless decision to throw away fifty years of legal precedent and any semblance of judicial restraint in overturning Roe v Wade and denying women the sovereign right to control their own bodies and destroying federal protections for reproductive freedom.
We note that this decision closely follows the draft opinion leaked earlier this year, which means that many other civil rights that have been decided in the last generation on similar “right to privacy” standards are now in jeopardy — as Justice Thomas has already made clear today — including contraception and marriage equality. We fear this is not the finish line, but just the beginning of the world these judicial extremists envision.
Make no mistake -- what is at stake here is not just a woman's and a girl’s right to medical care, but in fact their right to live healthy lives and provide for their loved ones. This will disproportionately affect poor people and people of color; we note with despair that many people seeking abortion care already have children and are desperately trying to keep their families from sinking further into poverty.
Many pregnant people who live in the half of the country with "trigger laws" that will make abortion illegal within thirty days will now have to travel out of state for abortion care. The lucky ones will have the economic means to afford the expense and time from work to do so. But be very sure -- none of us are safe, no matter where we live. While this decision purports to "leave the decision of abortion's legality up to the states," we reject this as meaningless rhetoric that will crumble as soon as a GOP congressional majority passes a federal ban, and a Republican President signs it into law, a devastating law that will outlaw this vital care nationally and that will now have no chance of getting overturned judicially.
We also note that this ruling uses historical evidence written by men at a time when women had no political or civil rights to make its case that abortion is not grounded in the “history and tradition” of the country. However, even in the 1700s, which appears to be the limit to the social imagination we are allowed under this reactionary bench, terminating a pregnancy was not considered an abortion until after a woman felt fetal movement — quickening— usually around 20 weeks. Today, our medical technology allows partisans to classify electrical pulses in a group of cells as a “heartbeat” long before most women even know they are pregnant, and this court will now allow states to use this very modern technology to constrict women’s lives in a way that would have been unimaginable in the times of the Founders.
Finally, we warn us all that this post-Roe world will be very different from a pre-Roe world: prosecutors are already investigating women for miscarriages, and pharmacists are already refusing to fill prescriptions for women who are miscarrying — as they are often medically treated identically as abortions. This ruling makes life more dangerous for all pregnant people.
For all of these reasons, and for the many more voiced and unvoiced by the majority of Americans now held hostage by this Court, we join in the dissent by the three liberal judges who argue that Roe was a critical "fifty year old constitutional right that safeguards women's freedom and equal station."
The Women's March on Roanoke calls everyone enraged as we are by this extremist decision that endangers us all to meet today at 5 pm in front of the Poff Federal Building to demand that We Will Not Go Back!
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://fb.me/e/1tiYwR19s
About Women’s March on Roanoke: The Women’s March on Roanoke has brought more than 4000 people together in Roanoke to celebrate the power of women and encourage women to run for office. The Women’s March on Roanoke is a non-partisan, women-led movement organized by Roanoke Indivisible and the Blue Ridge Resistance Alliance of Virginia (BRRAVA) providing intersectional education on issues with disproportionate impact on women and their families in Southwest Virginia.
About Indivisible: Using the constituent advocacy tactics outlined in the Indivisible Guide, more than 5,000 Indivisible chapters organize constituents concerned with how national policy may affect their families, neighbors, and communities to communicate more effectively with their elected representatives.
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