When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its devastating ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that eliminated federal constitutional protections for abortion rights, it emboldened anti-abortion politicians across the country to strip access to abortion from millions of people. And then just days after the midterm elections in which voters overwhelmingly demonstrated support for abortion rights, several anti-abortion groups sued the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over its approval of mifepristone, one of the two drugs used in medication abortion, which accounts for more than half of all abortions in the U.S.
These assaults on the rights of people to make healthcare decisions are not going to stop – they are the result of a decades-long, coordinated effort, rooted in control, misogyny, and racist policies, to strip away bodily autonomy and to further marginalize the already vulnerable.
To discuss the impact of abortion restrictions and the future of reproductive health care in our state and across the country, I had the privilege of joining advocacy partners at Raising the Bar, a virtual event on defending access to abortion in New Jersey hosted by the ACLU-NJ on May 23. Our panelists included:
- Dr. Kristyn Brandi, OB/GYN Physician and Board President of Physicians for Reproductive Health
- Lauren Johnson, Director of the ACLU Abortion Criminal Defense Initiative
- Kimberly Mutcherson, Co-Dean and Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School
- Catherine Weiss, Partner & Chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest, Lowenstein Sandler
Since our founding over a hundred years ago, the ACLU has been an essential part of the fabric of American life, and advocating for reproductive autonomy has been an integral part of our work. Whether it was defending the distribution of birth control literature in the 1920s or being a part of the team of litigators on cases that secured abortion rights in the 60s and 70s, fighting for abortion access has been a part of our DNA – and we aren’t going to stop.
Be sure to watch the full event and join us in our fight to expand abortion access for all.