Roe v. Wade Can Infuriate Us But It Will Not Stop Our Movement - Black Lives Matter
Graphic that reads "Self-determination is a key pillar of Black power."

Roe v. Wade Can Infuriate Us But It Will Not Stop Our Movement

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24th, 2022, opening the door to statewide bans and subsequent rulings that will snowball into disproportionate long term harm for Black people. As a Black liberation movement organization, we see the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a larger strategic effort to further criminalize Black people. The courts have a long history of diminishing the humanity and bodily autonomy 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 courts that are advancing a deeply regressive view of freedom.

With this ruling, twenty-one states across the United States have triggered laws that will go into effect immediately. Our communities already struggle to survive police violence, surveillance, and criminalization from the legal system—this decision will only exacerbate those enduring harms. 

Anti-abortion narratives bred and spread throughout our communities create division, and they rely on anti-Black racism and misogynoir. 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.” – Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective for The Pro Choice Public Education Project

We are infuriated. We are in pain. But we will not be disheartened or deterred from the fight. There are actions we can take to support our communities immediately—like supporting local abortion funds and providing safe harbor to vulnerable people impacted by this decision. Knowing that liberation will never come from this court, we push forward collectively.

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