On May 2, 2022, Politico published a leaked draft of the highly anticipated Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The draft majority opinion, penned by Justice Samuel Alito, overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which has protected our Constitutional right to abortion for nearly half a century. 

If the Court does indeed issue an opinion like the one that was leaked, millions of Americans will lose their fundamental right to abortion. As one of 16 trigger states, Louisiana will immediately ban abortion and our three remaining clinics will close. And it’s important to understand that the long-term agenda of abortion opponents doesn’t start or end with overturning Roe. Local politicians are doubling down on their goal of outlawing legal abortion and pushing our ability to control if and when to have children out of reach. Right here in Louisiana, although House Bill 813 to abolish and criminalize abortion did not advance further, the State Senate just passed Senate Bill 342, which would impose prison time on abortion providers or anyone who assists with an abortion. If passed, providers would face up to 15 years in prison.

Louisiana is the top incarcerator in the world. It is a state where race and wealth determine who is incarcerated more than guilt or innocence, and where those same factors impact who can receive an abortion. Black women in Louisiana are more than four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as white women, and though they make up just 39 percent of women who give birth in the state, they represent 68 percent of the women who suffer maternal deaths. The right to abortion is a racial justice issue. If you are a white ally in the fight for racial justice, like me, I urge you to get grounded in the history of how the country’s most powerful anti-abortion base first mobilized politically to challenge desegregation. In America, all of our chains link back to our founding – one of genocide and slavery. All of our civil rights are inextricably linked.   

Today calls for an inclusive movement – for marching, donating, calling our legislators, and making our outrage seen and heard, together.  

If you are able, please rush an emergency donation to our local partners in this fight and/or Louisiana’s abortion clinics: 

If you are able to mobilize, please register to join the following events:

  • On May 14, Planned Parenthood will host a National Day of Action for supporters to show up across the country alongside a broad group of coalition partners with a clear call: Bans Off Our Bodies. Find an event near you at www.bansoff.org
  • On June 17, Liberate Abortion is hosting a multi-state caravan that will make stops in Texas, Louisiana, and end with a rally in Jackson, Mississippi.

Finally, if you or someone you know needs help finding care, please visit abortionfinder.org. Additionally, Plan C provides up-to-date information on how people in the U.S. are accessing at-home abortion pill options online: plancpills.org

Abortion is our right. Abortion is essential. Abortion is health care. Getting access should not depend on where we live, how much money we make, or who we are. The ACLU will never stop fighting for every single person’s ability to access abortion care.