Overturning Roe v. Wade Affects All of UsJuly 1, 2022
The Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and called into question more than 50 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence on the right to privacy, affects us all. In taking away the right to safe and legal abortion care, the Court has opened the door to eroding a broad array of other personal rights, including the rights to contraception and to marry whomever you choose, regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity. As the joint dissent wrote in Dobbs, the Court is “rescinding an individual right in its entirety and conferring it on the State, an action the Court takes for the first time in history.”
The Court’s ruling had immediate consequences, automatically stripping women of access to safe and legal abortion care in states with “trigger laws”—i.e., laws that provided for the immediate criminalization of some or all abortions if and when Roe v. Wade was overturned. These trigger laws left women scrambling to pursue other options when appointments were canceled and clinics shut down. For some, these other options, such as traveling out of state, are simply infeasible, given the cost of travel, childcare, and missed work. About half the states are expected to enact bans or other limits on abortion in the wake of Dobbs.
Other aspects of women’s healthcare will be affected, too. For example, in states like Texas where abortion care is already severely restricted, some physicians are unwilling to care for people experiencing a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, for fear they will have to defend their actions in court. And the future of in-vitro fertilization, which involves creating embryos that may never be implanted, is also at risk in states that legally define life as beginning at conception.
We at Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger are committed to protecting the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, equal access to healthcare, and equal protection under the law for every person living in this country. Only by defending these rights for every American can we maintain a robust and fully functioning democracy.