SACRAMENTO, CA – June 24, 2022 – This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States of America overturned 50 years of precedent in a ruling that rendered the rights bestowed by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey void. The progress made by women and people who can become pregnant in that time was revolutionary and encouraged by decisions which upheld that individual liberty and the right to privacy, the right to equal protection under the law and the right to bodily autonomy were available to all citizens.
Today, a Supreme Court ruling changes everything. As America becomes a forced birth nation, women are no longer full and equal citizens, free to make their own choices about their health and medical care or entitled to privacy about their choices. Today’s ruling firmly cements a worldview that women and people who can become pregnant are not full, free, equal citizens under the law.
After today, nearly 40 million U.S. citizens have less rights than their male counterparts. The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls strongly condemns the SCOTUS decision to fundamentally undermine some American people’s rights to privacy and self-determination. Women in California will not stand by as we are stripped of our rights and our hard-won progress is eliminated.
There are remedies that Congress and the Biden Administration must immediately undertake to preserve the gains made towards equality these past 50 years. First and foremost, women must be solidified as full and equal citizens in our constitution through the publication of the already ratified Equal Rights Amendment.
We know that millions of people who can become pregnant now face a future in which they find themselves unable to access safe or legal care. This will not stop them from obtaining abortions – but it will stop them from being able to do so safely. Lack of access impacts low-income communities and communities of color first and is fundamentally inequitable. The right to self-determination, to choose what happens to one’s own body, cannot be a right bestowed only on the wealthy, the powerful, and the male citizens of a free and democratic Republic.
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls stands ready, in collaboration with like-minded legislators and those doing the hard work of providing direct services to do whatever is required to protect the rights of women and people who can become pregnant to privacy, choice, access to healthcare, and self-determination.
We are proud to administer the largest privately funded abortion access program for CSU and UC students in the state, and of our work with the Future of Abortion Council. We will continue to fight for the rights of women and pregnant people to make decisions about their own bodies through policy, education, advocacy at every level, and our on-the-ground support of providers and advocacy efforts. We stand with Senate Pro Tempore Atkins, Speaker Rendon, and Governor Newsom in support of a constitutional amendment to the state constitution to enshrine the rights of reproductive justice for all in our state. We will never stop fighting for equity and equality under the law.
Darcy Totten, Director of Communications
About the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls works in a culturally inclusive manner to promote equality and justice for all women and girls by advocating on their behalf with the Governor, the Legislature and other public policymakers, and by educating the public in the areas of economic equity including educational equity, access to health care including reproductive choice, violence against women and other key issue areas identified by the Commission as significantly affecting women and girls.