On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, revoking the constitutional right to an abortion nationwide and leaving the right to reproductive justice in the hands of the states. Abortions will soon be banned in thirteen states, with more to follow, and the accessibility of a safe, private abortion for millions of individuals will be made increasingly difficult.
Concurring opinions demonstrate the Court’s willingness to strip Americans of the liberty and personal privacy embedded in the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause. In his concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas signals that the rights to same-sex marriage, contraception, and other protected activities are at risk with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
It must be made clear that the Court’s decision is an abhorrent refusal of our freedoms and liberties. For the millions who rely on access to reproductive services, inalienable rights to privacy, safety, and choice are being infringed. Furthermore, it has become evident that the Court will move to undo legislation that protects the freedoms and rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and anyone who stands in the way of the religious perversion that has taken hold of our legislative and judicial systems.
With the blatant conservative politicization of our judiciary, up to and including the Supreme Court, one thing is certain: we must stand with our communities in defense of the right to reproductive justice and healthcare autonomy. Metro Justice continues to fight for affordable, comprehensive healthcare with organizations like Rochester for New York Health which seek to implement universal coverage across the state of New York. We encourage further support towards the NY State Abortion Access Fund through the Rochester Socialist Feminist Collective, the abortion fund of Indigenous Women Rising, and Rochester’s Planned Parenthood in the pursuit of safe, accessible abortions in a post-Roe environment.
To restrict the right to an abortion is to restrict the right to autonomy and liberty, all of which stand against the vision of Metro Justice. We continue to stand in support of the communities affected by this state sanctioned infringement on the privacy and safety that comes with reproductive justice. Metro Justice recognizes the urgent need for a national organizing strategy to protect reproductive rights and other freedoms now under threat, and are engaging with national organizations in hopes of developing such a plan. We are witnessing a violent assault on our rights in which those in power are circumventing and undermining democracy. A strategy to fight back must look beyond non-disruptive rallies and voting. The Democratic Party has failed to deliver on progressive promises for decades, and electoral wins for socialist candidates have also failed to deliver material improvements to people’s lives. We must look to tactics that disrupt capital and build long-term grassroots power. Now is the time to consider general strikes and mass civil disobedience targeted at the corporations and far-right institutions behind anti-abortion organizations, lobbying groups, and elected officials.
May our inalienable rights never be stripped from our spirits, so long as we stand united. May the rights to our bodies forever be ours.
Metro Justice Council & Metro Justice Member Narm Nathan