Today’s Supreme Court Arguments Mark a New Era and Threaten Nearly 50 Years of Reproductive Rights in the United States
For Immediate Release: Dec. 1, 2021 (Updated: Dec. 1, 2021, 9:28 p.m.)
ST. PAUL, MINN—The U.S. Supreme Court, with its new conservative majority, began oral arguments today in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion case with the potential to strip Americans of their federally-protected right to abortion.
By July 2022, the Court will decide the constitutionality of the Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15 weeks, a ruling that could undo 50 years of precedent under Roe v. Wade. Overturning Roe would leave the question of abortion rights to state legislatures and governors and with abortion opponents in power in many states, we are likely to see more abortion bans take effect nationwide. Without protections under Roe, more than 36 million women of reproductive age in 26 states risk losing abortion access, including 358,000 people in North Dakota and South Dakota, which are among the 12 states in the country with so-called “trigger laws” that immediately outlaw abortion in the absence of Roe.
No matter what decision the Court issues later this year, Planned Parenthood will be here to provide our communities with expert reproductive health care---including abortion--as we have been doing for over 100 years. With the support of our generous donors and partners, we are preparing now to help patients travel across state lines if states in our region or around us ban abortion.
“Abortion is health care and all health care decisions—including whether or not to have an abortion—are deeply personal and should be made between a patient and clinician. As the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court takes up this pivotal case, we are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” said Sarah A. Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States.
“As a health care provider centered on equity, we know that banning safe legal abortion only bans safe, legal abortion—it cannot ban all abortion. It also only bans abortion for those who cannot afford or who are unable to travel to states where abortion remains safe and legal. This sort of ban only applies to some, not to all, and is a direct and deplorable attack on health equity.”
Leading medical organizations, including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologist (ACOG) and a diverse group of health care professionals recently filed an amicus brief urging the court to strike down the Mississippi abortion ban. In our region, the Minnesota Medical Association, the ACOG-Minnesota Section and other organizations representing thousands of clinicians joined Planned Parenthood North Central States to speak out on this pivotal health justice issue in a full-page Minneapolis Star Tribune ad today
Planned Parenthood North Central States and its subsidiary organizations provide, promote, and protect reproductive and sexual health through high quality care, education and advocacy. A member of America’s most trusted reproductive health care provider, our affiliate is proud to support and operate 30 health centers across our five-state region (Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota). Each year, we provide health care to nearly 115,000 people and health education to more than 55,000 people in our region.