They are coming after our right to make our own decisions about our lives, families, and futures—and they are getting away with it.
The anti-choice movement, whose agenda is to end access to abortion care and make reproductive healthcare (including, even, contraception and IVF) more difficult to access, has been carrying out a focused and deliberate strategy to slowly but surely chip away at our rights via state legislatures and in the courts.
This year, they are aiming for their long-sought prize: an overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion.
This year is already the worst year for attacks on access to abortion since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. State legislators hostile to abortion have introduced, advanced, or passed more than 315 bills undermining access to abortion since 2021 began—and they are showing no signs of slowing down. In 2021, more than 90 restrictions on abortion access have been enacted at the state level.
And now, as the Supreme Court is preparing to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s unconstitutional law banning nearly all abortions after 15 weeks—228 U.S. senators and representatives submitted a brief to the Court saying the quiet part loud: arguing that Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two major abortion rights cases, should be “reconsidered and, where necessary, wholly or partially overruled.”
This comes just a week after the state of Mississippi filed its opening brief making the same ask, explicitly suggesting that the Court should overturn Roe.
This moment is the culmination of decades of work by those hostile to our fundamental freedoms. The anti-choice movement has spun a sinister web of laws that compound each other, increasing the costs of care until it is out of reach, closing down clinics that may never again open, and stigmatizing both those who access care and the doctors who provide it. Bans like the one in Mississippi will likely make it impossible for people who need to end a pregnancy to do so. Already the state has just one abortion clinic and multiple roadblocks that can delay a person’s ability to actually access care. These barriers to care impact most severely those already facing the highest obstacles to access, including Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; LGBTQ people; and those with low incomes.
Across the country, we’re witnessing a true avalanche of restrictions, seemingly hitting its crescendo now as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could end the constitutional right to abortion in the United States.
Though we don’t know exactly what the Court will do, we do know that there is no path for it to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban without gutting or completely undoing Roe. Earlier court cases have considered laws designed to shut down abortion clinics or otherwise push access further out of reach; this one is explicitly about the legality of abortion. Previous state-issued bans have been tossed out by the courts because they were so patently a violation of Roe v. Wade; that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is extremely troubling. Thanks to the handiwork of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Senate Republicans, there is an anti-choice supermajority of justices on the Court hostile to reproductive freedom and abortion access.
Should Roe fall, there would be devastating consequences for women and pregnant people across the country. At least 24 states would likely take action to ban abortion outright. Twelve states—including Mississippi—already have “trigger bans” in place, which would ban abortion automatically if Roe is overturned.
The reality is that the right to abortion in this country is hanging on by a thread—and these anti-choice lawmakers want to do away with it entirely. But the American people don’t. Polling shows that 77 percent of Americans support Roe v. Wade and there is no state in the country where banning abortion is popular. The efforts of these lawmakers fly in the face of the values of the vast majority of Americans—the very same people they were elected to represent.
So it’s time for all of us to get to work to secure our fundamental rights. We must call on our leaders in Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, a critical bill that would safeguard the federal right to abortion care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions. And they can’t delay: if abortion clinics are forced to shutter in the aftermath of a Supreme Court ruling, people who need abortion care will have few, if any, places to turn.
Elected officials have a clear mandate from voters to protect the legal right to abortion—and we won’t let them forget it. By signing onto this brief, these anti-choice lawmakers are blatantly seeking to subvert the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who support reproductive freedom. But we’re already mobilizing our 2.5 million members to hold politicians accountable at the ballot box, canvassing for pro-choice candidates and protesting anti-choice ones. We won’t stand by idly as extremists work overtime to strip us of our reproductive freedom.
We’re fighting for a world where each of us has the freedom to dream our best lives and live them. We want a world where all of our families and communities have everything they need to thrive. We cannot and will not sit by as these anti-choice politicians double down on interfering in our personal decisions and cave to extremist pressure to turn back the work of generations.