Never before has the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back a right the American people have relied on for half a century. While the court has, on rare occasion, reversed itself in the past, it has always done so while seeking to be more inclusive and protective of personal liberties. This dangerous decision does the exact opposite, putting the ability of women to make deeply personal decisions about their own bodies in the hands of extreme politicians—and in many cases putting their lives in danger. But this is not just an outrageous violation of women’s rights, autonomy, and physical health; it is also a direct attack on women’s advancement in America. Under Roe, women’s educational attainment and earnings have increased while maternal mortality and child poverty have fallen.
A radical majority on the Supreme Court has put that progress and the dignity of their fellow Americans in jeopardy. Because of them, young women are waking up in a new era, one in which they have fewer rights than their mothers. And the majority of Americans, who overwhelmingly oppose this extremism, are left asking themselves: What rights will the Supreme Court and the MAGA movement come after next? Marriage equality, the use of contraception, disability rights—the list goes on.
This unprecedented decision requires an unprecedented response. The Biden administration must use its full suite of executive authorities to guarantee women’s reproductive freedom, including by improving access to early medication abortion, breaking down barriers in insurance coverage, and assessing how to proactively help protect the safety of patients and providers. Congress must codify the promise of Roe v. Wade. State and local officials must do everything they can to ensure access to care, including refusing to enforce abortion bans and making it easier for individuals to travel to their jurisdictions to receive care. And, critically, all Americans must hold accountable anyone who seeks to weaponize today’s decision to deny them basic freedoms.