This is a dark day in America, marking one of the most consequential setbacks to women’s rights in decades. Today the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade in a case originating in Mississippi.
As a result, we have now lost the right to make our own health care decisions – a right supported by the majority of Americans.
With this decision, dozens of states will immediately move to ban abortion outright and others, like Texas and Oklahoma, will make receiving or assisting with abortion care a criminal offense. This will create a patchwork of laws across the United States where a person’s ability to receive abortion care depends on where you live and how much money you have. Clinics will navigate increasingly complex legal barriers intended to make it more difficult to provide care.
The ability to choose whether and when to have a child, to give birth safely, and to raise children in a supportive environment is essential to living a healthy, empowered life and foundational to an equitable society. As many countries around the world have expanded access to reproductive rights over the past 25 years – trusting women to make these personal decisions and recognizing the clear health and societal benefits of doing so – today’s ruling unwinds decades of progress in the United States. The consequences are devastating as this decision will reinforce cycles of poverty and inequity for people across the country and have the greatest impact on people of color and those with lower incomes.
This is a pivotal moment, not just for reproductive rights, but also for a host of rights that are rooted in similar principles. This ruling now opens the way for escalated attacks on other personal freedoms, including access to contraception and fertility treatments, LGBTQ rights, and the freedom to marry.
The Packard Foundation’s work to build an equitable world where everyone can make decisions about their bodies and families began before Roe v. Wade was decided. We remain unwavering in this commitment and have allocated an additional $14.1 million in 2022 to support national and state-based advocates in their ongoing struggle to secure essential reproductive health care and build toward a better future.
Securing this future will take dedicated persistence, partnership, and significant resources. This is our time to work together, act with urgency, and explore new approaches in our collective commitment to make generational progress, and ultimately, to build inclusive, just societies where everyone can thrive.