Statement From RFKHR President Kerry Kennedy on Roe v. Wade Decision

The decision by extremist justices on the U.S. Supreme Court today to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion is, without question, a terrible strike against human rights in the United States and beyond. It will permit legislators to intrude on the most private of medical decisions and eliminate access to critical health care, directly harming the health and well-being of millions of people. The harshest effects of this decision will be felt by those already facing systemic barriers to quality health care in the United States, including people of color, people in poverty, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural communities.

Even more frightening, the decision opens the door to the criminalization of medical care. The United States in which Roe was issued and in which it was overturned differ in at least one crucial aspect: the rise of mass incarceration as a tool of social control. With Roe’s overturning, states are now free not just to eliminate access to abortion, but to lock up those who disagree with them.

Today’s decision exacerbates the systemic racial and economic inequities pervasive in our country and represents a deliberate and malicious backslide from the steps toward a better, more just, and peaceful world that Robert F. Kennedy envisioned. And it is only the beginning. A Supreme Court that is brazen enough to strip away one fundamental human right is bound to target others: the rights to love, live with or marry whom we wish and the rights to plan our families with dignity and privacy.

We must waste no time in coming together to strike out against this injustice. Now is the time to demand that our representatives in government codify protection of the fundamental rights to abortion and other healthcare, dismantle our racist criminal legal system, and protect our rights to love and live proudly, without fear of state persecution. As the full scope of the effects of this decision on vulnerable Americans shows itself, we will be vigilant in fighting back.

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