Exactly one week ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case involves a challenge by Mississippi’s only abortion provider to a state law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. This is in direct contradiction of two SCOTUS decisions Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that protect access to a safe and legal abortion.
On that same night of the hearing, we came together and held our virtual teach-in on the state of abortion. At the teach-in we heard from my colleague Dipti Singh, Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley’s (PPPSGV) General Counsel. Dipti who is an experienced litigator openly discussed this case in more detail and what it will mean for the future of abortion access:
“There are so many reasons to try to not read too much into the justices' questions, but there wasn’t a lot of cause for optimism this morning. It certainly seemed to me like there are a majority of justices ready to overturn Roe, or at a minimum issue a decision that will make it possible for states to ban abortion before viability.”
The heartbreaking reality is that if SCOTUS does overturn or gut Roe V. Wade, California will be the closest abortion provider for people seeking care. A Guttmacher report found that 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion and for 1.4 million people of reproductive age. While the oral argument for the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case was heard on December 1st, the court is not expected to issue its decision until June 2022.
At PPPSGV, we are taking action right now nationally and locally. As an organization, we are proud to have joined the California Future of Abortion Council to develop recommendations to protect and expand abortion access in the state of California. Over 40 organizations in California came together to recommend policy proposals supporting access to abortion for Californians and all who come here to seek care. You can read the press release here.
In addition, last month we published an opinion piece in Pasadena Now calling for the City of Pasadena to declare itself a champion and defender of health equity and reproductive freedom. With 15 organizations in Pasadena joining us in calling for an abortion proclamation, we are ready to work with the city of Pasadena to send the powerful message that abortion is health care.
As an organization, we will continue the fight to ensure that access to a safe abortion is a right for all people. Today and every day.
In this together,