It is the first anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, when the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, on June 24, 2022, catapulted abortion rights into the headlines and opened the floodgates of restrictions in 24 states across the country.
We know now that overturning of Roe was just one piece of a broader campaign to end access to all reproductive healthcare in America.
In the past year, we have seen the introduction of federal abortion and contraceptive bans, including a Federal Court case on access to mifepristone, a critical and safe drug used in medication abortion and miscarriage management. This has been echoed by the rollback of other fundamental rights, including trans, education, and voting rights.
The Dobbs decision and the resulting abortion bans have increased maternal deaths threefold in those states; driven patients to travel to Washington from their homes to receive abortion care; and caused immeasurable physical and psychological harm across the country.
On this first anniversary of Dobbs, here are a few more facts to keep in mind:
- More than 60 percent of Americans believe in abortion rights. In other words, this is not a fringe movement, and you are part of the majority.
- States with abortion bans have seen a threefold increase in maternal deaths compared to states with abortion protections. This is especially true for Black women, who are already three times more likely to experience death or trauma due to pregnancy and childbirth than white counterparts.
- Patients denied a wanted abortion are three times as likely to end up below the federal poverty line, along with several other lifelong economic and health consequences.
- Abortion bans harm pregnancy and infant outcomes across the board. In a recent survey, 68 percent of OBGYNs said that Dobbs made it more difficult to manage pregnancy-related emergencies, and 64 percent said it has increased maternal mortality.
- Since Dobbs, every abortion clinic has closed in Idaho along with two of its largest maternity wards, which impacts Washington clinic capacity and demonstrates the importance of abortion as a key part of maternal care.
Washington is a symbol of reproductive freedom today because of decades of grassroots advocacy to build political power. And, as we have seen in the year after Dobbs, it will take even more work to restore and strengthen our fundamental human rights.
We need to invest in the work that is happening in communities. We need to build change from the ground up and to recognize the importance of local elections, at all levels of government.
Pro-Choice Washington is building power through an intergenerational, intersectional movement for collective action, including those who have the hardest time getting reproductive healthcare.
We hope you join us.
Since becoming an independent organization in October 2021, Pro-Choice Washington has been at the forefront of the reproductive freedom landscape. It has helped to expand and protect abortion access across Washington state. Pro-Choice Washington is the only advocacy organization dedicated solely to reproductive freedom in Washington.