In 2007 we have learned that we can no longer depend on the Supreme Court to uphold the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that gave American women control over their reproductive lives. With the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor and the ascendance of two Bush nominees to the Court, women’s reproductive rights are in more danger than ever before. For the first time, the Court has ruled (in Gonzales v. Carhart) that restrictions on abortion need not take a woman’s health into account—effectively reversing a prior decision concerning an almost identical law. This decision opens the door for legal abortion to die the death of a thousand cuts—to become unobtainable due to the addition of countless new restrictions previously held unconstitutional. But we cannot, we must not go back to pre-Roe days!
For more than a generation, the Supreme Court has firmly upheld Roe and turned back all attempts to outlaw or severely restrict access to abortion. But today the struggle is moving into another arena. We can no longer depend on the courts. If Roe is overturned or seriously weakened, then women will need to rely on state or federal legislation to protect their rights. Public support for reproductive rights, clearly and strongly expressed, will matter more than anything else. Women will lose in the political arena only if the pro-choice majority becomes a silent majority.
Please join us to learn about these Supreme Court Decisions, and discuss what can be done.
Date: Saturday, January 19, 2008