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by | Jun 24, 2022 | Press Releases

(Albany, NY) – In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Ivette Alfonso, president of Citizen Action of New York, released the following statement:

“We knew this was coming. That doesn’t make it any less devastating. Today, the Supreme Court overruled half a century of people having the freedom to decide for themselves when and if to become parents. The 6-3 extremist majority has effectively pushed us back to a time when half the population did not have the autonomy to make decisions over their own bodies.

Abortion is healthcare. This ruling has not gotten rid of abortions; it has simply eliminated safe abortions for millions of people, predominately Black, Brown, and working-class people who are already disproportionately affected by a lack of access to healthcare and limits to their bodily autonomy. It is not an exaggeration to say that this decision will kill people.

There are many organizations whose sole mission is dedicated to preserving the freedom to access an abortion. You can donate to over 80 abortion funds through the National Network of Abortion Funds.

How dare the Court use the justification of protecting life today to strip freedom from half the country when just yesterday, they overturned a gun safety law in New York that actually keeps people from being killed. The hypocrisy is a reminder that today’s decision is part of a larger project of the extremists on the right to erode the freedoms of everyone who is not a white Christian cis-gendered heterosexual man. They want to take us backward to a time when they alone had power. It is against everything the United States supposedly stands for.

Ironic that the same people who insist on using “historical tradition” as a metric for whether our freedom is valid are so willing to ignore the core American principles of equality and liberty for all. This decision reveals, yet again, that their agenda isn’t about preserving American ideals, it’s about seizing power for a narrow sliver of society by denying freedom to the rest of us. True patriots know that our job is to bring us ever closer to the ideal of equality for all and that is why we constantly work to expand freedom for everyone in the country. The right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court are instead using their formidable power to undermine freedom for all Americans.

And this rollback of fundamental freedoms will not end with abortion. A concurring opinion, written by right-wing ideologue and sexual harasser Clarence Thomas, states that the Court should also “reconsider” previous rulings that protect fundamental freedoms like access to birth control, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage. The implications of this are terrifying.

We will not go back. Instead, we choose to continue the work of expanding freedom for all, inspired by the words of the great Langston Hughes,

“I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!”

We will not allow the criminalization of health care. We will not allow the stripping of bodily autonomy from pregnant people. We will not allow the re-subjugation of women. We will not allow further assaults on the freedoms of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. We will not allow the same right-wing extremist agenda that is attacking our freedom to vote and attacking our freedom to choose our leaders also take away our freedom to determine what happens to our own bodies, the freedom to decide when and if to have a family, the freedom to love and marry who we love.

We will not stand for this. We will continue moving forward.”