State Democratic Party Progressives Network: Statement on the Supreme Court’s Overturning the Roe vs. Wade 

State Democratic Party Progressives Network

Contact:

Emily Olsen
Chair, Utah Progressive Caucus
801-207-7574
utahprogressives.org

Statement on the Supreme Court’s Overturning the Roe vs. Wade

July 6, 2022

The State Democratic Party Progressives Network expresses our outrage for the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe vs. Wade, a 49-year settled precedent decision, through Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

After two generations of legalized abortion at the federal level, the High Court has now reassigned the fate of a woman’s bodily autonomy to the states. Unfortunately, more than half of the states in our Union have imposed varying restrictions on the ability of women to control their own reproductive health. States with some of the most restrictive laws, such as Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, do not even offer exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or preserving the mother’s life. 

To correct the Supreme Court’s error, we call upon President Biden and Congress to pursue an aggressive public campaign for the following: 

  • End the Filibuster. 
  • Codify women’s reproductive rights, including the right to abortion and abortion medication upon demand. 
  • Codify access to contraception. 
  • Open reproductive health clinics on federal lands. 
  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. 
  • Expand education and access to Plan C. 
  • Install term limits for Supreme Court Justices.
  • Increase the number of seats on the Supreme Court. 
  • Restrain judicial review. 
  • Vote on Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s bill to protect the physical and cyber security facilities, personnel, and patients of reproductive facilities. 

We find that the Supreme Court decision is faulty based on the following Constitutional provisions: 

Mandated, forced or compulsory pregnancy contravenes the 13th Amendment’s prohibition against involuntary servitude and protection of bodily autonomy, as well as the 14th Amendment’s defense of privacy and freedom. Black women’s sexual subordination and wealth-maximizing forced pregnancies were foundational to slavery. Ending the forced sexual and reproductive servitude of Black girls and women was a critical part of the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments.  

The 9th Amendment indicates that if something is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, it does not necessarily nullify or deny such rights. For example, marriage is not mentioned in the Constitution, but we know many of the Founders engaged in the age-old custom of marriage. The same should be the case for abortion, which was historically performed prior to the 1900s, as well as in a variety of world cultures during ancient times. 

The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment requires that people, regardless of gender, should be treated equally under the law, and we argue that body autonomy is a fundamental human right that is worthy of equal protection. 

The Commerce Clause of the Constitution “to regulate commerce … among the several states.” should not be violated by prohibiting women to cross state lines to have an abortion. 

The 6-3 decision, weighted by conservative members of the Court, is uncharacteristic of right-wing policies that generally promote small government. Requiring states to track women’s private lives will require big-government legislation.  

Despite conservative claims, anti-abortion laws do not have a history of reducing the number of abortions, but instead, increase them. If conservative lawmakers actually wanted to reduce the number of abortions, their laws would address the root causes of abortion, such as lack of access to health care, poverty and maternity health – causes close to the hearts of modern Progressives.

The United States ranks 55th in the world in terms of maternal mortality. It is not in league with Germany, France, or its peer nations. Instead, it is in company with nations that still publicly lash and stone women. In 2016, the Supreme Court’s own record showed that women were 14 times more likely to die by carrying a pregnancy to term than by having an abortion. 

We recognize that the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is one of a handful of recent stances by the High Court, which threatens our Constitutional principles and representational democracy in our country. It is clear that conservative members of the Court no longer recognize precedent, and we are aware that they wish to reverse other longstanding decisions. 

The Supreme Court has chosen a radical path, undermining established legal precedent and forsaking American democratic values. It is up to Democrats to respond and organize. It is simply unacceptable to ask Americans to vote harder if Democratic leaders are not pursuing every available avenue to defend our rights.  We must not rest until it is done. 

Resolutely, 

Alan Minsky
Steering Committee Member, State Democratic Party Progressive Network and
Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America 

Pia Gallegos
Steering Committee Member, State Democratic Party Progressive Network
State Central Committee Member, Democratic Party of New Mexico

James G. (Jim) Langford
Steering Committee Member, State Democratic Party Progressive Caucuses Network
Member, Board of Directors, Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida 

Bruce Murray, Chair
Global Progressive Caucus
Democrats Abroad

Sue Alksnis
Democrats Abroad Global Progressive Caucus Vice Chair
Democratic Party Committee Abroad elected member

Alan O’Neal
Arizona Democratic Party Progressive Council Steering Committee 

Amar Shergill
Progressive Caucus Chair, California Democratic Party 

Jeri D. Shepherd
Attorney at Law/DNC Member, Greeley, Colorado 

Carolina Ampudia, M.D.
Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida – President 

Peter Janko
State Central Committeeman – 11th Congressional District, Democratic Party of Illinois

Brian McLain
Chair, Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party 

Tracy Murphy
Vice Chair, Progressive Caucus of the Iowa Democratic Party 

Joan Butcher-Farkas,MSW
Secretary, New Jersey State Democratic Committee Progressive Caucus
Parliamentarian, Monmouth County Democratic Progressive Caucus
Chairperson, Our Revolution Monmouth

Jay Levine
Steering Committee Member, State Democratic Party Progressive Network
State Central Committee Member, Democratic Party of New Mexico
Chair, State Platform and Resolutions Committee, Democratic Party of New Mexico

Cathy Cowan Becker
Bernie Delegate 2020, Ohio District 15
Central Committee Member, Franklin County Democratic Party

Kathleen Caffrey
Our Revolution Ohio
Progressive Democrats of America

Clayton Tucker
President of the Texas Progressive Caucus

Emily Olsen
Chair, Utah Progressive Caucus 

Mitchell Vice
Vice Chair, Utah Progressive Caucus 

Sandra J. Klassen
Steering Committee Member, State Democratic Party Progressive Network
State Central Committee Member, Democratic Party of Virginia
State Central Resolutions Committee Member, Democratic Party of Virginia

Diane Morgan
Bernie Delegate 2016/2020
Member of Our Revolution Ohio
Democratic Central Committee Member, Cleveland Ward 14 F

 

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