Press Releases

U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Reproductive Justice Advocates Remain Undeterred in California

CALIFORNIA – Today, the United States Supreme Court published its decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion. 

“The overturning of Roe means the ability of pregnant people outside of California and states with similar protections to exercise autonomy over their own bodies for the past fifty years will now regrettably depend on their zip code,” shared Carlos Marquez, executive director of ACLU California Action. “In California we stand ready – with our legislative partners and those most impacted – to enact legislation that will continue to strengthen access to the full range of family planning that all deserve, which must include those who’ve been traditionally denied access to reproductive healthcare and gender-affirming care.”

In California, low-income people; Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color; LGBTQ+ people; immigrants; people with disabilities; people living in rural communities; and people living at the intersections of these identities continue to face systemic barriers to reproductive healthcare, family planning that includes abortion, and even criminalization over pregnancy outcomes. 

  • Forty percent of California counties have no clinics that provide abortions, presenting profound barriers to abortion care for thousands of Black and Latinx people, and those living in poverty.
  • One study found Californians had to travel more than 100 miles to find an abortion provider that accepts Medi-Cal, disproportionately affecting Black and Latinx patients. 
  • Recently, two women in California were prosecuted and imprisoned for stillbirths, a direct example of the reactionary forces attempting to use the criminal legal system to coerce and control pregnant people and reproductive decision-making. 

“We have a lot of work to do to achieve true reproductive justice in California,” shared Arneta Rogers, director of the gender, sexuality & reproductive justice program at the ACLU of Northern California. “To do this, we must advance bold policies, organize and build power, and shift the harmful narratives from those that choose to stigmatize reproductive healthcare, abortion, and gender-affirming care.”

We’re calling on California lawmakers to enact the following legislative package:

  • SCA 10 (Atkins) would spell out the right to access abortion and contraceptives in our State Constitution, further solidifying existing privacy and equal protection guarantees.
  • AB 2223 (Wicks) would ensure that no one in California is investigated, prosecuted, or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing a pregnancy loss.
  • AB 2085 (Holden) would clarify that poverty is not “neglect” and should never trigger mandatory reporting to the family regulation system.
  • AB 2199 (Wicks), the Birthing Justice for California Families Pilot Project, would advance birth equity by funding doulas to work with communities who suffer from high rates of negative birth outcomes, including people in jails.

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About ACLU California Action

ACLU California Action is a 501(c)(4) organization jointly formed by the ACLU affiliates in California. Our mission is to protect civil liberties and civil rights, advance equity, justice, and freedom, and dismantle systems rooted in oppression and discrimination. The organization uses rigorous policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications to achieve policy change on a statewide level. We advance this work through collaboration with organizations that have members directly impacted by policy decisions in Sacramento. Beyond legislation, ACLU California Action aims to build enhanced political power and influence for the ACLU and our collective movements statewide.