We checked in this week with some women’s rights advocates from AWTT’s portrait gallery, to glean their response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reversing Roe v. Wade.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) President Ai-jen Poo articulates the interests of financially challenged working class women:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, effectively blocking necessary access to abortion health care for millions across the country, is a threat to the existence of a future we know is possible: One where we care more, not less, about the safety, health and well-being of women, women of color, immigrant women, birthing people and their families.
“Our vision for safety includes economic freedom, which is impossible if we do not control our own reproductive futures. Working class women are already faced with the cruel reality of having little to no support for their family caregiving needs, even as they must work full-time to make ends meet. We refuse to accept a reality where they are forced into pregnancy unless they have the economic means to travel to a state where these essential services remain legal.” Read more
Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and founder of the Black Futures Lab, also highlights to impact on women of color: “Abortion is a racial justice issue. … This decision will disproportionately impact Black families and devastate our economic futures.” (The Root, 6/24/22)
And in its analysis piece, “America’s middle class is deteriorating. And the death of Roe will make it worse,” NBC News highlights Michelle Alexander‘s high-profile story of rape and abortion, which threatened her dreams of becoming a civil rights lawyer. “After the fall of Roe v. Wade, many young women in situations like Alexander’s will face not only the horror of being raped (as many as 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college), but the end of promising careers. The whole economy loses out when their contributions are curtailed.”
In an interview with Oprah Daily in May, Cecile Richards advised: “First, take care of the people around you. … I also think it’s important for people to continue to tell their stories. The stigma around abortion is significant. I told my story about having an abortion, and women still come up to me and say thank you. … It is part of the lived experience of millions of people around the world, and there really shouldn’t be a stigma around it. Finally, you can get politically involved. Find someone who is running that you agree with and support them—voting is important. As for the people who already represent you, call them. If you agree with the stance they’ve taken in your state, call to say thank you. If they don’t, call to let them know that. And protest. I saw a tweet the other day that said, ‘It’s not enough to be angry; go vote.’ But I say, it’s not enough to vote; be angry.”
Although these news stories represent only a small sampling of vocal women and their supporters, we honor these advocates’ willingness to speak out and their unwavering dedication to the dream of equality.