Ending Roe Will Inflict Enormous, Needless Damage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court has already voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito leaked to the press on Monday night. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“Abortion is health care, and health care is a human right.

“The draft Supreme Court decision, if adopted as final, will strip away the constitutional protection of a fundamental human right from all women in the United States. The immediate result will be the imposition of outright abortion bans in 14 states, with many other states likely to follow soon afterwards.

“The draft decision does not grapple with the human cost of abortion bans and severe restrictions on access to abortion. Abortion bans would criminalize the seeking and provision of health care, threatening to put people in jail for seeking or providing abortions. Abortion bans will force women and pregnant people to seek abortions in unsafe conditions. Some will die or be injured as a result. Abortion bans will force others to proceed with unwanted pregnancies, with dramatic, life-altering impacts.

“The direct human harms and needless personal tragedies that follow directly from abortion bans will concentrate very heavily among low-income people and people of color. Poor or lower-income women constitute 75% of the abortion patient population, according to the Guttmacher Institute. More than half are women of color. Compounding this already severe imbalance, lower-income women in abortion-banning states will have the least ability to circumvent restrictions by traveling out of state.

“Human rights are not an abstraction. Protecting human rights protects human dignity. Protecting the right to an abortion helps women to be safe and healthy and gives them the ability to define their own path.

“By contrast, this draft Supreme Court decision, if adopted as final, will endanger many women and strip them of their autonomy. Eventually, the decision will be corrected – by the Congress or a future Court. In the meantime, it will inflict enormous, needless damage. It is an affront to women, the U.S. Constitution, and human rights.

“It’s now time to protect abortion rights in federal law. Winning such a law will almost certainly require setting aside the filibuster, but there’s no excuse for arcane and anti-democratic Senate rules to stand in the way of protecting fundamental human rights.”