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Woodhull Statement on Roe, Human Rights, and Sexual Freedom

May 4, 2022

On Monday Night, May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. In the draft, Justice Alito writes the majority opinion that overturns Roe v. Wade.

In this poorly argued decision, Alito asserts that the 14th Amendment does not protect a right to abortion because abortion is not necessary for what he calls “ordered liberty.” He essentially argues that the Constitution does not create any right to privacy that relates to sexual activity, relationships, or health. For this reason, decisions like Loving v. Virginia (1967, interracial marriage), Lawrence v. Texas (2003, sodomy), Obergefell v. Hodges (2015, same-sex marriage) and others are newly vulnerable.

Twenty-six states have laws indicating that they intend to ban abortions, and nine states have pre-Roe bans that could potentially be enforced. Of even more immediate concern are the thirteen states with “trigger laws” (bans designed to go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned) that could not only immediately ban abortion but may also, given their definitions of abortion, complicate both contraception for those who don’t want to become pregnant and conception for those who do. For example, Claire McCaskill in a series of tweets explains that in Missouri, if Roe has overturned, a fertilized egg (before implantation) would be considered a life and thus IVF for infertile adults who want to have children and emergency contraception and IUDs for those trying to prevent pregnancy could all be construed as illegally causing abortion.

Woodhull Freedom Foundation abhors this decision and is committed to doing all we can to support on-the-ground activists and reproductive justice workers while continuing to fight for legislation to protect our fundamental right to sexual freedom, and all that entails, in statehouses and on Capitol Hill. 

Abortion Rights Protest Photo

Image of a person's arm in a crowd holding a pink sign that says "Keep Abortion Legal and Safe" (Larissa Puro/USC Institute for Global Health)

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