BOSTON, June 24, 2022—Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that elective abortions before a fetus is viable are unconstitutional. In doing so, the Court has overturned the Constitutional right to abortion that has existed since its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. Fenway Health Chief Executive Officer Ellen LaPointe offered the following statement in response:
“Fenway Health was founded in 1971 on the principle that health care is a right, not a privilege.
“The Court’s decision today puts at risk the health and bodily autonomy of millions of women and all people who are able to get pregnant. Prior to the legalization of abortion, countless individuals were forced to resort to dangerous illegal and underground methods to end their pregnancies. Many suffered permanent injury or died as a result. This ruling today will have devastating consequences for women and all people who can get pregnant who do not have the resources or support to obtain care in states where legal abortion is still available.
“Moreover, it is vital to remember that our right to make private, autonomous healthcare decisions about our own bodies is interconnected with other rights to personal liberty. With today’s ruling, the Court has set aside over 150 years of jurisprudence affirming a right to privacy that began with ratification of the 14th amendment in 1866 and continued with landmark rulings in 1923 (Meyer v. Nebraska), 1925 (Pierce v. Society of the Sisters), 1942 (Skinner v. Oklahoma), 1952 (Rochin v. California), 1965 (Griswold v. Connecticut), 1967 (Loving v. Virginia), 1972 (Eisenstadt v. Baird), 1973 (Roe v. Wade), 1974 (Cleveland Board of Education v. LeFleur), 1977 (Moore v. City of East Cleveland), 1978 (Zablocki v. Redhail), 1990 (Cruzan v Director of Missouri Department of Health and Washington v. Harper), 1992 (Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Riggins v. Nevada), 1997 (Washington v. Glucksburg), 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas), 2013 (Windsor v. United States), and 2015 (Obergefell v. Hodges).
“All of these cases dealt with the right to live free from government intrusion and control when it comes to making intimate, personal decisions about health care, marriage, procreation, family, child-rearing, and education.
“This assault on our liberty is unlikely to end with today’s ruling by the Court. The lawmakers who enacted the statewide abortion restrictions that resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade are now working to prevent transgender children and adolescents from accessing medically necessary gender affirming health care.
“Fenway Health is as committed to our core belief in the right to healthcare now as we were when we opened our doors over fifty years ago. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect that right and to ensure that the people who count on us – and people everywhere – have access to the health care they need.”
- Our blog post “Reproductive Health Care Is A Right, Not A Privilege” includes meaningful and actionable ideas for engaging in local efforts to expand access to abortion
- GLAD’s press release responding to the ruling
- Planned Parenthood previously published a guide to abortion laws in the United States and what may change after the Supreme Court ruling and released a statement on their Twitter account today
- Guide to birth control access across the gender spectrum