Roe v. Wade Decision
On June 24, 2022, the current Supreme Court of the United States overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, in which the Supreme Court had ruled that the United States’ Constitution protects the legal right of women and pregnant people to choose abortions in the United States. Despite the fact that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high resource country, that women of color are three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and that America is the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid parental leave, childcare, or universal healthcare, 26 states are poised to ban abortion, stripping women of their bodily autonomy and rights to reproductive healthcare. This decision not only reverses the last 50 years of precedent, but it will disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged communities and other marginalized groups who are already struggling to navigate around existing healthcare obstacles. It will also affect all people's ability to have reproductive choices, as well as our collective physical, psychological, social, and material well-being.
The strategy to erode reproductive autonomy is multifaceted, and abortion restriction is only one of its prongs. The Union College Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program recognizes that threats to abortion access and bodily autonomy, especially for disabled people, people of color, queer and trans people, women, working class and poor people, and people who occupy these identities simultaneously, are not new. We are also heartsick at this latest strike against our right to abortion, our right to healthcare. We affirm that all people on and off our campus are entitled to holistic reproductive justice: the right to manage their own fertility; to receive quality reproductive, birthing, and abortion care; and to raise safe and healthy families if and as they choose.
Union’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program stands committed to educating and advocating for reproductive justice through our curricula, co-curricular, and interdisciplinary program offerings, and through engagement with the Union College community and other communities to which we belong. As we grapple with this news and work through a range of emotions, we look forward to working with other Union College offices and departments, as well as student groups and local reproductive rights organizations to provide formal and safe spaces for discussing these issues.
For further information and/or to get more involved in the fight for reproductive justice, please check out Union College’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program and look into the following resources: