The DSA National Political Committee condemns today’s Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which eviscerates the right to privacy and bodily autonomy protected by Roe v. Wade for nearly fifty years, a right the vast majority of Americans support and agree should be protected by the Constitution. The far right wing of the Supreme Court, most of whom were appointed by a President who lost the popular vote, has demonstrated beyond all debate that the Court is an illegitimate institution, flouting the will of the people.
The ruling upholds a Mississippi state law banning all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy, nullifying the right to privacy under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, overturning both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, allowing individual states to ban abortion entirely. Abortion bans now go into effect immediately or upon swift action of their legislatures in 22 states, and four more states are expected to vote soon to ban abortion or ban it in all but name.
The dismantling of abortion rights by the far right and Christian nationalists could be just the beginning of future right-wing attacks on landmark decisions that rely on the right to privacy, including Obergefell v. Hodges, recognizing a fundamental right to same-sex marriage; Griswold v. Connecticut, recognizing a fundamental right to access contraceptives and prevent pregnancy; and Lawrence v. Texas, finding unconstitutional state sodomy laws. It is not just the rights to privacy and bodily autonomy protecting sexual and reproductive freedom this majority is bent on eviscerating, however; just this month the Court has knocked down one more brick in the wall between church and state in Carson v. Makin; ruled unconstitutional a 108-year-old New York law limiting concealed carry of guns in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, on the basis of a 13-year-old precedent; and issued a decision in Vega v. Tekoh that begs reactionary forces to bring the Court a case to allow them to overturn Miranda v. Arizona, a case so woven into the fabric of American life schoolchildren can recite its associated warnings.
These decisions are not apolitical rulings by a neutral court: the Supreme Court and too many of the lower courts have been captured by the reactionary far right who cannot enact their unpopular agenda democratically or legislatively. The Republican Party and their extremist justices advocate for an originalist interpretation of the Constitution that favors white nationalist and capitalist interests. Their ultimate goal is to dismantle the rights won through the civil rights movement, the Great Society, the New Deal, and even Reconstruction.
The leadership of the Democratic Party have proven time and time again that they cannot be depended upon to save us. Despite many opportunities to codify Roe v. Wade into law, the Democrats in Washington failed to act. Nor can we rely on our judicial system to guarantee us civil rights. Now more than ever, we need to build a vibrant, militant, majoritarian socialist movement to defeat Republican minority rule, win legislative power, and build a better world that guarantees healthcare as a human right, including the right to free abortions on demand without apology. As the largest socialist organization in the United States, DSA is building that democratic and majoritarian socialist movement.
DSA chapters across the country have been mobilizing on the ground in defense of abortion rights, including raising over $100,000 to provide abortions to those in need through the Abortion Fund-a-Thon. But, because of today’s decision, the National Network of Abortion Funds has asked for all fundraising to be halted as they consider the legal implications of raising funds, particularly in states with a ban.
Now is the time to join DSA and build a political mass movement to fight for abortion rights, fight for democracy, and fight for socialism.