Today the Organization Issued the Following Statement from President and CEO Nakisha M. Lewis:
Today the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which has effectively struck down the half-century-old decision of Roe v. Wade, taking away the right of birthing people to privacy and access to an abortion.
While we’ve been expecting this verdict for some time now, confirmation doesn’t make digesting today’s news any more palatable. I am enraged, saddened, and fired up for the fight in front of us.
At Breakthrough, we believe that all women, girls, and gender-expansive people deserve to live safe and self-determined lives free from all forms of violence. I am clear that today’s decision is an act of violence and creates an undeniable breach to the safety of women, girls, and gender-expansive people – especially Black birthing people, those living in poverty, and the LGBTQIA+ community who will feel the impact of this decision most deeply. In our opinion, the SCOTUS, which is dominated by justices hostile to reproductive freedoms, has failed this country.
Following today’s news, Breakthrough will continue to do the work we’ve always done, and that is telling the stories and amplifying the voices of everyone impacted by this decision, uplifting the work of determined organizers and activists, and spreading the resources of organizations that have been preparing for this moment for more than a decade.
As a Black woman, the issue of bodily autonomy is one that I am too familiar with. We have been fighting for control of our bodies and personhood for centuries. So now more than ever, I am encouraged by and trust the leadership of Black women. And it is in this moment that Breakthrough (and I hope all of you) will take the lead from Black reproductive justice leaders and organizations. These organizations include:
New Voices for Reproductive Justice – an organization that is dedicated to transforming society for the holistic health and wellbeing of Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people, nationally and in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They help dismantle patriarchal anti-Blackness using the tools of community organizing, leadership development, and voter engagement.
Sister Song – a Southern-based, national membership organization with the purpose of building an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.
Women With A Vision – an organization working to improve the lives of marginalized women, their families, and communities by addressing the social conditions that hinder their health and wellbeing. They’ve accomplished this through relentless advocacy, health education, supportive services, and community-based participatory research.
Sister Love – the oldest women-centered HIV and sexual & reproductive justice advocacy organization in Atlanta and the Southeast. Sister Love works at the intersectionality of all forms of racism because they all contribute to preventing safe and healthy love.
Black Feminist Future – a member-centered organization, and our members help inform our work, campaigns, and initiatives. At BFF, they’re centering leadership development, community care, and joy in order to build the political and social power that we need to win concrete changes in our lives, community, and beyond.
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda – a national-state partnership focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national and regional levels in our fight to secure Reproductive Justice for all women, femmes, and girls.
The time to double down has come, to show SCOTUS that they can’t make a decision and expect us to walk away quietly. If the outcome of Roe v. Wade has taught us anything, it is that decisions are overturned all the time, and the ability to overturn today’s decision in the future is one that will drive us forward.
The truth about this moment is that while today’s outrage is in response to abortion rights, the decision made has now opened the door for more to come. Same-sex marriage and access to contraception are just a couple of landmarks that Justice Clarence Thomas has already invited to the chopping block. Today is a calling to everyone; if you care about human rights, it’s time to act. As Paris Hatcher and Monica Raye Simpson have reminded us, “our freedoms come from movements, not from the courts,” and Breakthrough remains committed to fighting for a world where we all get to live safely and fully free self-determined lives. We hope to see you standing alongside us every step of the way.