DNC Caucus chairs: ‘We cannot afford to lose the right to choose’
Last month, the Supreme Court announced a Dec. 1 date to hear arguments on a Mississippi law that limits reproductive freedom with no exception for rape or incest. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Mississippi law, the consequences would not only potentially harm the ability of self-determination for millions, but also embolden anti-choice advocates.
As the four women chairs of our respective caucuses at the Democratic National Committee, we believe it is vital we rise collectively to speak up in defense of reproductive freedom and to encourage the Supreme Court to reinforce what we know to be a constitutional right.
We cannot stay silent. We cannot be passive. There is too much at stake.
For the past 50 years, Republicans and their anti-choice allies have made it their mission to attack the legal protections granted by Roe v. Wade. The recently implemented Texas law Senate Bill 8 and the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to issue an injunction to prevent its implementation proves reproductive healthcare access is on the line. And it’s not just Texas — Republican legislators all over the country are on a mission to gut reproductive rights, with more than 500 abortion restrictions introduced across 47 states this year alone.
A strong majority of Americans support access to safe, legal reproductive health care, but Republicans in legislatures all around the country have made clear that they will put their extremist, dangerous political agenda over justice and the reproductive health of Americans. Yet, Roe protections have prevented Republicans from completely dismantling reproductive care in this country.
If the Supreme Court were to approve Mississippi’s law, Republican legislatures would be empowered to further politicize what should be a personal decision between an individual and their doctor.
The impact of such a decision would also exacerbate a two-tiered system of inequality where wealthier people would be able to access reproductive healthcare in other states while others would not be able to afford such a trip. Similarly, the situation of people of color, who already face horrifying barriers to safe care, would only worsen. The Supreme Court cannot allow things to get any worse.
The Democratic Party has remained committed to fighting and advancing reproductive health, rights and justice. We are challenging Republicans up and down the ballot to reject their party’s anti-choice agenda and have made significant steps to strengthen reproductive health care, beginning with the House’s recent passage of the Democratic bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act.
Vice President Harris recently said, “The right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is not negotiable.” We are heartened to point out, and we fully support, the recent actions taken by our U.S. Justice Department, which filed a suit against Texas over Senate Bill 8. But as it plays out, we must continue to fight to protect the right to choose. We must and will win. We cannot afford anything less.
Lottie Shackelford is chair of the Democratic National Committee Women’s Caucus. Virgie Rollins is chair of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus. Iris Martinez is chair of the Democratic National Committee Hispanic Caucus. Bel Leong-Hong is chair of the Democratic National Committee AAPI Caucus.
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