[Editor’s note: The following was issued by JACL Public Affairs VP Sarah Baker and JACL Education & Communications Coordinator Matthew Weisbly and was lightly edited only to adhere to AP Style.]
The Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade, a five-decade-old historic court precedent that granted women the constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Now, the power to retain or abolish a person’s right to choose has been ceded back to the states, 22 of which are already prepared to outright ban or severely restrict abortion access.
This ruling marks a dark turn in our nation’s history, and further drives home the point that women and those with female reproductive organs remain second-class citizens. As a national civil rights organization, the JACL unequivocally supports the right to decide whether and when to become a parent. At our 1992 convention, the National Council officially adopted a resolution titled Family Choice supporting a person’s right “to choose and determine the course of their lives.” Today, we reaffirm that this choice should be up to the individual with their health care provider and not left in the hands of lawmakers.
The JACL decries this heinous decision. The implications of this act stand to not only impact cisgender women, but the trans community, communities of color and many others who are affected by systemic oppression and rely upon rights not explicitly granted in the constitution. The Supreme Court has not only ripped away a constitutional right, but sentenced millions of people to inhumane living conditions, and in some cases, death. Removing or restricting abortion access does not mean that abortions will no longer happen — it means that safe abortions will no longer happen.