With the U.S. Supreme Court on the cusp of issuing a decision likely to devastate abortion rights and access in the U.S., the Center for Reproductive Rights has teamed up with Ms. magazine to launch, Beyond Roe: The Fight for Our Future. In a series of essays, Center experts and advocates weigh in on the fight to secure reproductive autonomy now and after the Supreme Court issues its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case in which Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade.
“The Supreme Court will soon issue its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A decision to overturn Roe v. Wade—which the leaked majority opinion indicates the Court is poised to do—is devastating; for low-income women and disproportionately for women of color, the impact will be catastrophic. However the final opinion is written, the harm could extend well beyond abortion,” wrote Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Executive Producer of Ms. Studios, and Katherine Spillar, Executive Editor, Ms. magazine, about what’s at stake in the Court’s decision.
Read the new collection of essays for Center analysis on the future of protecting abortion rights in the U.S. under the 14th Amendment, state laws, state constitutions, and in the courts.
“Make no mistake: We will not cede this fight. We demand action from lawmakers—at all levels of government—who know the public is on our side. We will continue to press ahead in the courts. And we will work to forge stronger constitutional guardrails: jurisprudence that recognizes the fullest scope of reproductive autonomy under the law,” wrote Northup, Goodwin, and Spillar.
The project features five essays by Center advocates and experts:
- U.S. Abortion Retrogression in Global Context by Lourdes Rivera, Senior Vice President, U.S. Program. While the U.S. experiences profound retrogression, armed with human rights and global momentum other countries worldwide are liberalizing their abortion laws and guaranteeing greater access to abortion care. Rivera writes about what U.S. advocates can learn from the experience of these countries to turn the tide at home.
- The Right to Reproductive Autonomy: A 14th Amendment Guarantee by Diana Kasdan, Director, U.S. Judicial Strategy; Risa Kaufman, Director, U.S. Human Rights. Kasdan and Kaufman explore why reclaiming the full promise of the 14th Amendment requires governments to respect—and courts to protect—the constitutional right to reproductive autonomy, regardless of the Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
- Building Protections for Reproductive Autonomy in State Constitutions by Amy Myrick, Senior Staff Attorney, U.S. Judicial Strategy; Tamar Eisen, Program Coordinator, U.S. Judicial Strategy. Myrick and Eisen write that state courts provide an alternative path, with the power to interpret their own state constitutions to protect reproductive autonomy through more expansive legal frameworks for protecting bodily autonomy, privacy, and equality.
- How States Can and Should Protect Abortion Rights and Access by Elisabeth Smith, Director, U.S. State Policy & Advocacy. In this piece, Smith encourages readers to urge their local and state elected officials to secure abortion rights and access across the U.S. She points to a growing number of state efforts to strengthen legal rights as well as ensure that access to abortion is affordable, accessible, and free from harassment.
- Reimagining the Future of the Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice Movement by Amber Gavin, Vice President of Advocacy and Operations at A Woman’s Choice in Florida, and Israel Cook, State Legislative Fellow, U.S. State Policy & Advocacy. Reflecting on their unique perspectives and experiences, Gavin and Cook describe how reproductive rights, health and justice advocates are committed to reimagining the future of reproductive rights in the U.S.
Additional essays in the project include:
- The Urgency for Reproductive Freedom: From Slavery to the New Jane Crow by Michele Goodwin
- Why Roe Was Never Enough—and What Comes Next by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
- Overturning Roe Would Create More Barriers for Asylum-Seekers and Immigrants by Mary Giovagnoli
- The Fight to Secure U.S. Abortion is Global by Michelle Onello and Elena Sarver
Read more at the Beyond Roe: The Fight for Our Future project microsite.