The Overturning of Roe v. Wade

DENVER — Today, The U.S. Supreme Court issued a shameful ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and dismantling constitutional protections for abortions that have been in place for nearly 50 years. The court’s ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case paves the way for anti-abortion politicians to ban abortions and criminalize essential health care in half of the states in the country, affecting 36 million people who can become pregnant. Millions of people no longer have the fundamental right to decide for themselves when to have a child.

The following statement can be attributed to Deborah Richardson, ACLU of Colorado Executive Director.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is an unprecedented attack on the rights and reproductive freedom of people who can become pregnant. Thanks to the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) signed into law earlier this year, abortion access remains protected in Colorado. ACLU of Colorado is proud to be a member of the Colorado Reproductive Health Rights and Justice Coalition (RHRJ Coalition) whose collective efforts resulted in the passage of  RHEA.  We will continue to ensure that every person receives the care they need.

However, several of our neighboring states including Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming have trigger laws — which are  laws that immediately ban abortion in those states based on today’s ruling. Additionally, Arizona has a pre-Roe ban and may very well move quickly to ban abortion. Consequently, the limited access to abortion care in our neighboring states will impact patients in Colorado as more people travel here to receive needed abortion care. We are fortunate in Colorado to have organizations like Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and ProgressNow Colorado, among our many other partners within the RHRJ Coalition, allocating considerable resources to handle a significant increase in patients, longer wait times, and many traveling patients in need of financial and logistical support.

Make no mistake: Politicians won’t stop here. Our rights and liberties are under attack like never before. The same anti-abortion extremists seeking to control the rights of pregnant people will also come after our right to access birth control, gender-affirming care, the right to marry who we love, and our voting rights. Despite the courts allowing anti-abortion politicians to attack our fundamental rights  — they don’t get the final say — we do and the ACLU of Colorado will continue to plan for and fight these attacks.

Abortion will not truly be accessible until everyone is able to get the care they need — in their own communities — in every state. ACLU of Colorado is dedicated to making that a reality. By working with supporters and advocates, we will make our voices heard in the streets, at the Capitol, and through ballot measures not just today, but every day for as long as it takes.”

If abortion is banned nationwide, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent nationwide, and 33 percent among Black women.

With thousands of staff and volunteers in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU has been preparing for this moment for years and will carry out a multi-pronged approach to stem the tide of attacks on abortion and expand access where possible. The ACLU has fought for abortion rights since before Roe was decided.

As the fight continues to play out in the courts, the ACLU will mobilize supporters across the country to take to the streets and head to the polls. Abortion is on the ballot this year with votes on state constitutional amendments in several states including Kansas, Vermont and Kentucky. The ACLU is also working with partners in Michigan to collect signatures to put an amendment on the ballot this fall that would enshrine the right to reproductive freedom, including abortion, in the state Constitution. 
For more than a decade, the fight for abortion access has primarily been in the states, and the ACLU will also invest in state Supreme Court races to ensure that state judges increasingly uphold our fundamental right to reproductive freedom and other civil liberties.