NBWJI Statement on SCOTUS Decision Overturning Roe
Today's Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade is upsetting, infuriating, dangerous, and wrong.
We adamantly disagree with this decision that effectively eliminates women’s and girls’ control over their own bodies and increases the risk of women—especially Black women—being criminalized. Even before this decision, women have been criminalized for miscarrying and self-inducing abortions. Since 1973, more than 1,200 women have been arrested based on pregnancy outcomes.
Without Roe, it’s estimated that half of U.S. women are losing access to abortion. Twenty states have “trigger” laws that ban abortion once Roe is overturned or have already restricted it ahead of this decision. In a number of other states, abortion access remains uncertain in the absence of Roe. Women in these states face criminalization and incarceration for exercising control over their own bodies. And all of this will have an outsized impact on Black women.
In many of the states where abortion is now likely to be banned or further restricted, Black women and girls make up large shares of the population, which means we are all but assured that Black women will bear the brunt of the fallout of this decision. Black women are already disparately targeted and impacted by the patriarchal, racist criminal legal system.
We have criminalized poverty. We have criminalized mental illness. And we are now criminalizing a woman’s right to choose and endangering women’s lives.
As the post-Roe landscape takes shape, NBWJI will be tracking the impact of abortion bans in the United States and their disparate impact on the criminalization of Black women and girls. We will not stand for this injustice and the assault on Black women’s bodies.
We must continue to dismantle pathways—old and new—to criminalization and confinement for Black women and girls and advocate for policies and services that support and promote healing.