With Roe Overturned, Ballot Initiatives Provide a Path Towards Reproductive Freedom

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June 24, 2022

Charlotte Bennett
[email protected] 

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, a decisive ruling following the draft opinion leak of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last month. The Court’s decision upholds Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and paves the way for additional state legislatures eager to further restrict and ban abortion. Despite the fact that the majority of Americans support safe and legal abortion access, the Supreme Court has utterly abandoned both precedent and the will of the People. 

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Executive Director, Chris Melody Fields Figueredo issued the following statement: 

“Today’s Supreme Court decision rolls back a nearly 50-year precedent, effectively robbing people of their right to safe and legal abortion access. This tremendous setback directly threatens the lives and livelihoods of those seeking abortion care — particularly within traditionally marginalized communities and in states with trigger bans, pre-Roe bans, and total or early gestational bans.

To be clear, this decision will cause disproportionate harm to poor people, communities of color, and especially Black people in the South who are still living in the shadows of slavery and the political and social inequities that have never gone away. Our communities already experience overwhelming costs and obstacles when attempting to access reproductive healthcare and this will only exacerbate their struggle to maintain personal bodily autonomy, and make their own decisions about when to have children, not have children, and to parent the children they have in safe and sustainable communities.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: the People want the ability to make decisions for themselves, including their own personal healthcare decisions. Considering that a majority of Americans still support access to safe and legal abortion, ballot measures remain a critical tool to harness the power and will of the People. Furthermore, Roe was the floor, never the ceiling for reproductive freedom. Now more than ever, direct democracy is an important and urgent path forward for those who seek to secure reproductive liberties and autonomy in their healthcare decisions and allow us an opportunity to re-imagine and build a world where reproductive justice is the framework we use not for abortion, but also to provide affordable contraception, comprehensive sexual education, and to ensure people are free from sexual violence.

In the face of this federal ruling, we also recognize the number of states working to secure the right to abortion access at the state level, including Michigan’s Reproductive Freedom for All campaign and Vermont for Reproductive Liberty

In six weeks, Kansas voters will decide on a full ban on their August 2nd Primary ballot. This will be the first opportunity for voters to reject anti-abortion special interests and extremist politicians from interfering in personal medical decisions following this decision. Our partners at Kansas for Constitutional Freedom are leading this fight. Kentucky and Montana voters will have their chance this November. 

BISC will keep fighting back — against some politicians seeking to restrict abortion access to advance their own political agenda, and other attempts to exert control over the will of our People.

Following today’s ruling, we must uplift and support the organizations and resources that continue to protect and serve our communities, including AbortionFinder.org, INeedAnA.com, the National Network of Abortion Funds, BansOffOurBodies.org, and other local support organizations.

We strongly encourage our supporters and fellow pro-abortion citizens to find a nearby rally to gather with their local communities. Now is the time to demonstrate our collective and unwavering commitment to freedom, liberty, and bodily autonomy.”