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Washington, D.C. — This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO), a challenge to Mississippi’s abortion ban that could decimate the constitutional right to an abortion established by Roe v. Wade. The state of Mississippi has explicitly asked the Supreme Court to use this case to overturn Roe. Should that happen, more than 36 million women of reproductive age, and more people who can become pregnant, in 26 mostly southern and midwestern states could lose access to abortion.

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“First I want to thank Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights and Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar for their brilliant arguments on behalf of Jackson Women’s Health Organization and in defense of our constitutional right to abortion and the freedom to make our own decisions about our bodies.

“During today’s arguments, it was alarming, though not surprising, that the majority of the Supreme Court justices  appeared prepared to allow politicians to control what we can do with our bodies. Let’s be clear, if the Supreme Court allows Mississippi’s ban to stand, it will erase nearly 50 years of precedent, put abortion access at risk across the country, and, in the words of Justice Sotomayor, create a “stench” in the public perception of the Court and its legitimacy. 

“As Ms. Rikelman said to the Court, “if states can take control of women's bodies and force them to endure months of pregnancy and childbirth then they will never have equal status under the Constitution.” And we know who will continue to bear the burden of these abortion restrictions: Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, immigrants, and those having difficulty making ends meet. This is the direct result of systemic racism, ongoing white supremacy, and coercive reproductive policies in our country.

“While we cannot predict how the Court will rule in this case — or in the case on Texas’s radical abortion ban, which has now been in effect for three full months — it’s clear we cannot rely on the courts to protect our rights. This fight is at everyone’s doorstep, and we must all show up for our communities and take proactive measures to protect abortion access, including passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act by Congress. Know this: Planned Parenthood will continue to do everything we can to provide and protect your access to health care — no matter what.”

Planned Parenthood organizations and other partners are following the lead of the Abortion Freedom Fighters in Mississippi and the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented JWHO at the Court, for a Bans Off Our Bodies Day of Action. Our organizations urge supporters and activists to get involved and speak out during this pivotal moment. Reproductive rights organizations are hosting in-person and virtual events, launching mobile billboard and homepage takeovers across the country, and more. Together, we will send a loud and clear message to politicians who want to control people’s bodies and lives: BANS OFF OUR BODIES. More info here

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.