EWG exists to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, effectively imposing bans on abortion that will come into effect in dozens of states, is the antithesis of that mission.
Empowerment begins with the freedom to choose. For half a century, federal law has protected the right of women to make private, informed choices about their reproductive health, including the right to an abortion. The Supreme Court was wrong to extinguish that right.
Moreover, nothing in the court’s decision, or in the state abortion bans it will effectuate, will reduce the occurrence of abortion by empowering women who seek to avoid unwanted pregnancies. In addition to supporting women’s right to biological autonomy, we support proven public health interventions to reduce unwanted pregnancies: effective sex education, provision of family planning, and the availability of safe, efficacious and affordable contraception. We particularly object to the disproportionate burden forthcoming state abortion bans will impose on Americans who live in environments that are often anything but healthy or empowering – women of color living in poverty and grossly underserved by quality reproductive health services.
During their confirmation to the court, several justices who voted with the majority to criminalize abortion knowingly misled the nation on their intent to respect the legal precedent, established by the high court in Roe v. Wade, that for 50 years protected women’s right to make their own health care decisions. That includes the right to decide not to endure the serious physical and mental health risks of carrying to term and giving birth. Given the disingenuity of those justices and the court’s rationale in Dobbs, Americans have every reason to fear further, ideologically driven erosion of their individual freedoms.
EWG stands with those who are frightened, worried, sad, angry and in shock in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision. We stand with those who feel powerless over the loss of personal autonomy and freedom. Above all, we will stand and fight alongside state leaders, grassroots organizations, and health care advocates who seek to empower just and humane reproductive health care, which can only exist on a foundation of a woman’s right to choose.