Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Statement on Supreme Court Ruling Overturning Roe

Today, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, opening the door to statewide bans and subsequent rulings that will harm Black people disproportionately. This decision is one of several this week designed to limit freedom in service of a white supremacist and patriarchal agenda. As a Black liberation movement organization, the fall of Roe will open the door to further criminalization of Black people. As we continue our fight for freedom, we recognize that full access to abortion care is necessary for all Black people.

The courts have a long history of diminishing the humanity of Black people. When the Court makes the argument that certain rights are illegitimate because they are not explicitly named in the Constitution, they are asserting that only white male property owners’ rights are legitimate. We are clear: It is the courts that are illegitimate. It is the court that is advancing a deeply regressive view of freedom.

With this ruling, twenty-six states in this country have trigger laws that will go into effect. Our communities already struggle to survive police violence, surveillance, and criminalization from the criminal legal system — this decision will only exacerbate those enduring harms. Collectively, our communities navigate unfair targeting, sentencing, and punishment daily.

Anti-abortion narratives are propagated in our communities to create division, while they rely on anti-Black racism and misogynoir to do their work. Black feminists have been truthtellers on the frontlines of the fight for our freedom, exposing persistent narratives that dehumanize Black women, girls, trans, and gender-nonconforming people.

Protecting Black women, trans and gender-non-conforming people is central to the work of reproductive justice. Self-determination is a key pillar of Black power. We have a long history of support for abortion access and activism within the Black community, from Shirley Chisholm and Florynce Kennedy to modern-day racial and reproductive-justice leaders on the frontlines of this issue. As we navigate this decision, we lean on the words of one of the founders of the reproductive justice movement, Loretta Ross:

“Reproductive Justice addresses the social reality of inequality — specifically, the inequality of opportunities that we have to control our reproductive destiny. Moving beyond a demand for privacy and respect for individual decision-making to include the social support necessary for our individual decisions to be optimally realized, this framework also includes obligations from our government for protecting women’s human rights. Our options for making choices have to be safe, affordable, and accessible, three minimal cornerstones of government support for all individual life decisions.”

We are infuriated. We are in pain. But we will not be disheartened or deterred from the fight. Expanding the court, impeaching illegitimate and racist justices, ending the filibuster, and passing the Women’s Health Protection Act are not radical, but are necessary to protect and affirm Black people’s right to thrive. There are actions we can take to support our communities immediatey — like supporting local abortion funds, or providing safe harbor to vulnerable people impacted by this decision. Knowing that liberation will never come from this court, we push forward.

Self-determination is a key pillar of black power.


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