Updated: Apr 12
On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision on Roe v. Wade, codifying the right to safe and accessible abortions without interference from the government–a right that would be stripped away nearly 50 years later in the now infamous Dobbs decision.
On the 50-year anniversary of the landmark decision, people of all backgrounds and beliefs gathered across the nation to honor the legacy of Roe, rallying in support of reproductive justice, affordable childcare, universal healthcare, and other important issues at stake.
“By overturning Roe v. Wade 7 months ago, the Supreme Court has not only robbed women of the fundamental right to control their own bodies, but has opened the door to reversing other hard-fought and long standing legal precedents, including landmark civil rights cases.” Said Deborah Scott, CEO of nonprofit powerhouses, Georgia STAND-UP and We Vote. We Win.
(Georgia STAND-UP hosting emergency rally after the overturn of Roe v. Wade)
As communities have begun to gather in protest against this inhumane decision, intersectionality has found its place in almost every issue and topic.
The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade jeopardizes the livelihood of all women, but especially of Black women. Advocates have expanded the conversation beyond the right to abortion to other important issues like accessible childcare, universal healthcare, affordable housing, voter suppression, quality education, and transit equity—all issues that affect both women and children before, during and after childbirth.
As of January 6th, 2023, abortions are fully banned in at least 13 states, with over half of the bans in effect in Southern states. At least six other states have limitations for when an abortion is deemed illegal.
(Source: The NY Times)
Georgia is one of only a few states to have a gestational limit in place, making abortions banned at about six weeks of pregnancy, far before most women even know they are pregnant. This decision stands in opposition to the numerous, reputable studies that show that increased restrictions on abortions do not reduce the total number of abortions.
“The abortion ban does not mean that abortions will no longer take place,” said Rachael Carroll, an attendee of the Right to Abortion rally in Atlanta, “it simply means that it will happen in unhealthy and unsafe environments, continuing to put women, predominantly black women, in situations that will compromise their lives.”
On January 22nd, the 50-year anniversary of Roe, community organizers, grassroots organizations, allies, and women of all backgrounds gathered at the east steps of the Georgia State Capitol to demand six things:
Repeal the 6-week ban on abortions in Georgia
Enshrine the right to abortion in the Georgia constitution
End the Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program (SB 308) that funds predatory crisis pregnancy centers in Georgia
Abolish the U.S Senate filibuster
Repeal the Hyde amendment
Open abortion clinics on federal lands and facilities, including military hospitals— through presidential executive action
Amplify GA Collaborative, SisterSong, YWCA of Greater Atlanta, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, Naral Pro-Choice GA, Women Engaged, and Feminist Center are just a few of the powerhouses in Georgia that are committed to securing, restoring, and building reproductive justice beyond Roe.
Tuesday, January 24th, this coalition of organizations and other advocates joined at the Georgia State Capitol to introduce the new Reproductive Freedom Act (RFA), an act that would “enshrine fundamental protections for reproductive freedom into Georgia law, repeal medically unnecessary and harmful abortion restrictions that create barriers to care, and expand access to abortion care.” — Amplify GA.
Georgians have proven that they will fight until reproductive justice is obtained for all and we will continue to stand beside them in this fight.