National Conference of Black Lawyers
2472 Broadway #204
New York, NY 10025
SCOTUS RULING ON DOBBS DECISION
JULY 25, 2023
In its landmark decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court of the United States overruled Roe v. Wade, spelling the likely demise of the right to abortion in over 26 states that have already passed or plan to pass anti-abortion legislation this year. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion, holding that the right to abortion is neither constitutional nor rooted in the “history and culture of the United States.”
NCBL denounces the Dobbs decision and affirms that people have the human and constitutional rights to reproductive and bodily autonomy and privacy without criminalization, surveillance, government control and interference, or stigma. Abortion is healthcare and a human right. Furthermore, restrictions and bans put Black communities at risk of physical, emotional, and mental trauma, as well as increased disparities in access to necessary medical care and wellness.
We are particularly disturbed by the dangerous rationale of this horrendous decision - and more clearly articulated in Justice Thomas' concurrence - that lays the foundation for the wholesale review of a plethora of rights considered established as settled law, including the right to privacy without government interference, the rights against forced birth and sterilization, the right to contraception, and the right to equal protection, such as marrying a partner of one's choice.
Justice Alito's misplaced reliance on the “history and culture of the United States” is an anachronistic view of the development of rights. It binds us to the mores of the African-enslaving, white supremacist, colonizing, genocidal, patriarchal, heteronormative, and capitalist group of “Christian” Founding Fathers of this nation. This standard is anathema to the rights of Black people and all oppressed people in the United States.
Finally, the restrictions and bans on abortion will result in the criminalization of thousands of Black people - people seeking abortions, people providing abortions, people researching abortion access, people facilitating travel and assisting with abortion costs, doulas, and supportive families and friends.
NCBL stands in solidarity with those advocating, agitating, and organizing against this attack on our fundamental rights, and stands ready to assist in providing legal support for those criminalized by abortion restrictions and bans as well as those engaged in the fight for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy.