Statement on behalf of the ACLU Foundations of Northern California, Southern California, San Diego and Imperial Counties, and ACLU California Action.
Californians’ right to bodily autonomy—to make decisions over one’s own life and future—is a deeply held value in our diverse state. This includes the right to abortion.
A leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion recently revealed the Court’s intention to explicitly overturn Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion.
The devastating consequences of such a decision will fall most heavily on Black, Indigenous and other people of color, immigrants, people living in rural communities, LGBTQ people, young people, and people struggling to make ends meet, among other marginalized groups. It will also broaden inequities in access to care from state to state, so that the rights that a person possesses in one state will differ substantially from the rights that a person possesses in another.
Here in California, while our state Constitution and laws protect the right to an abortion, we support efforts to clarify and strengthen existing statutory and constitutional state protections to ensure unfettered access to abortion.
However, regardless of the Court’s decision on Roe, the fight to defend all Californians’ access to abortion continues. Many Californians still struggle to access abortion care due to lack of funds, transportation, childcare, and racism within the healthcare system, despite our current laws.
Access to abortion is just one piece of our larger fight to ensure that reproductive rights move beyond abortion access and toward true reproductive justice for all Californians: the right to bodily autonomy, the right to decide when and whether to have children, and the right to parent the children we have with dignity.
No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides, we remain committed to the fight to protect and advance this broad vision of reproductive justice across our state and ensure that all Californians, and especially communities that have been excluded from power, have the resources to ensure self-determined reproductive decision-making and family formation.
And we are committed to helping secure timely care for people across this nation who may seek refuge in California, if the Court takes away their right to safe and legal abortion.
At this crucial time, we encourage our supporters to donate to ACCESS Reproductive Justice, one of our many partners in the fight for true reproductive justice and California’s only abortion fund providing practical support for people seeking care.
For more information about the right to abortion access in California, see our know-your-rights webpage.
For more information about what the end of Roe means nationwide, visit ACLU National’s website.
Arneta Rogers is the Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Justice Program at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California.