HARTFORD - The Supreme Court issued a shameful ruling today overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago. Today’s ruling will allow anti-abortion politicians to ban abortion in states across the country which will force countless people to remain pregnant and have children against their will. The ruling in this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will set off a chain reaction with states banning abortion and criminalizing essential care throughout entire regions of the country.
In Connecticut, access to abortion will remain legally protected in the state because of the work of advocates in passing legislation for decades, including in 2022, and because of state supreme court precedents, including cases argued by the ACLU of Connecticut.
The Supreme Court’s decision is an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and reproductive freedom, and the effects will be immediate and far-reaching. Half the states in the country are expected to ultimately ban abortion, denying the 36 million women and other people who can become pregnant in those states the fundamental right to decide for themselves whether and when to become a parent. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, derailing their education and career plans, and making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner. This decision could also lead to pregnancy losses being subject to suspicion, investigation, and arrest, and patients and doctors being thrown in jail.
Anti-abortion politicians have made it clear that they will not stop with Roe’s reversal and banning abortion state by state; extremists have made it clear that they will work to ban abortion nationwide. In the face of this unprecedented attack on the bodily autonomy of women and people who can become pregnant, the ACLU of Connecticut is working with our partners in the Connecticut Coalition for Choice to send a clear message to lawmakers that everything must be done to protect and expand access to abortion to ensure everyone can make their own decisions about their bodies and futures.
“Abortion remains legal in Connecticut, but none of our rights or liberties are secure in the face of a U.S. Supreme Court that would reverse Roe. Reproductive freedom is fundamentally about people’s abilities to control their own lives and futures. This decision from the U.S. Supreme Court is a devastating blow for the rights of women and all people who can become pregnant, and today is a grim day for legal human rights in our country. The decision in Dobbs must serve as a wakeup call to Connecticut elected officials to also do more to expand reproductive healthcare access, including abortion access, in our state,” said David McGuire, ACLU of Connecticut executive director.
“Abortion is a human right, and it remains a legal right in Connecticut. Our state still has much more work to do to protect and expand abortion access and reproductive freedom here. Legislators listened to the people by passing one law to protect access in 2022, and every elected official in our state must do more to protect Black maternal health and make sure that all people in Connecticut who can become pregnant have accessible, affordable reproductive healthcare. People here must donate to abortion funds and tell every one of their legislators that they expect Connecticut to do even more to advance reproductive freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed anti-abortion politicians to rule the day, but they don’t get the final say — we do,” said Claudine Constant, ACLU of Connecticut public policy and advocacy director.
In Connecticut, advocates and lawmakers have taken proactive steps to safeguard abortion access for people who need care by passing a law earlier this year to defend the legal rights of people from other states who seek abortion care in Connecticut.
Nationwide, banning abortion would have an immediate and devastating impact on women, taking from them a right that has been central to their ability to plan their lives, families, and careers. These burdens will fall on all people who can become pregnant, but will disproportionately fall on women of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people. Today’s ruling will have deadly consequences, with the harm falling hardest on Black women and other people of color who already face a severe maternal mortality crisis that is the worst in the same states that are determined to ban abortion. In fact, because of systemic racism, Black women are three times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, or shortly after. If abortion is banned nationwide, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent nationwide, and 33 percent among Black women.
Abortion cannot truly be accessible unless everyone — in every corner of our country — is able to get the care they need in their own communities. The ACLU of Connecticut is dedicated to making that vision a reality by working with thousands of supporters across the state to make our voices heard in the streets, online, and at the ballot box until every person has the freedom to access the care they need without obstacles, shame, stigma, or harassment. We encourage people to donate to abortion funds and to tell their elected officials that they expect further action to expand and protect abortion access and all reproductive freedom in our state.