January 22 would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to abortion. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, 12 states have already made abortion illegal.
In several media interviews about Roe Day, Center President and CEO Nancy Northup discussed the continuing fight for state and federal reproductive rights, the backlash against the overturning of Roe, and the looming threats to abortion nationwide.
Alex Wagner Tonight, MSNBC
In an interview with Alex Wagner on MSNBC, Northup encouraged viewers to stay alert to the possibility of a federal abortion ban, drawing attention to a lawsuit recently filed in Texas that seeks to ban medication abortion nationwide. “I would not underestimate anything that might happen with respect to a national ban,” Northup said. “[Anti-abortion advocates] have made it clear that this is not the end.”
“We’ve always known that the vast majority of Americans support the right to access abortion care, and we saw it at the polls. . . . but the reality is, we need to get the rights back,” said Northup in the January 20 interview. “That’s what we’re working so hard on in these strategies to get state constitutions to recognize the right to reproductive autonomy. And we have that now in Michigan, California, Vermont—that language didn’t exist before in any constitution. Reproductive autonomy and reproductive freedom is now the language in those states’ constitutions.”
In an interview with Ali Velshi on MSNBC on January 22, Northup described the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as “a day of both concern and real energy.” While expressing anger at the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling—especially in those 12 states that have banned abortion under threat of criminal prosecution—Northup was encouraged by the energy and support she’s seeing across the country. “And the fact that—we’ve said it, but we can’t say it enough—the majority of Americans don’t like what they’re seeing. They support access to legal abortion.”
Discussing the threat to medication abortion posed by the lawsuit recently filed in Texas against the FDA, Northup said, “This would impact not just Texas, but they’re seeking a nationwide ban that would effect people in New York, in California, in Illinois, all the way across the country. This is one that we need to be paying attention to because medication abortion is not only the choice of most people who have abortions, but also so important in this post-Dobbs landscape.”
In a piece in Ms., “Feminists React: 50 Years After Roe, the Fight Is Far From Over,” Northup states, “Today is a sober moment. The reversal of Roe v. Wade was the biggest setback for women’s rights in U.S. history. For the first time in 50 years, the right to make decisions about one’s health, life, and future in connection with pregnancy is being denied.”