Supreme Court Overturns Roe v Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent
The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned nearly 50 years of precedent and eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, stripping people of the right to control their own bodies. This final decision comes just weeks after the leaked draft decision, and could lead to 26 states swiftly moving to ban abortion.
The consequences of this devastating decision will fall largely on people who already face the greatest barriers to health care due to our country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural areas.
Here in Florida, abortion providers and health centers recently filed a lawsuit bringing a state constitutional challenge to House Bill 5, a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers in the case are asking the court to block the ban from taking effect on July 1. In 1980, Florida voters amended the state constitution to provide broad protections for individual privacy rights — including abortion. It is important to note that these protections will remain in place in spite of today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on federal abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Statement from Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida:
“By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has now officially given politicians across the country the power to control what people can do with their own bodies. This means millions of Americans will no longer be trusted to determine the course of their own lives. This dangerous and chilling decision will have devastating consequences across the southeast and beyond, forcing people who can afford it to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles for abortion care in Florida and other states where at least some access is still protected. This ruling eliminates the federal constitutional right to privacy around abortion, but the Florida state constitution still protects that right. The Florida 15-week abortion ban, which will go into effect July 1st, is clearly unconstitutional, which is why Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and other plaintiffs are suing to stop it. We will not sit idly by while our freedoms are stripped away like this — we will not stop fighting for our rights.”
Statement from Alexandra Mandado, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida:
“It is a dark day for our country, but this is far from over. We will not compromise on our bodies, our dignity, or our freedom. Floridians should know that Planned Parenthood will always fight for you, and we will not back down. Today, abortion is still safe and legal in Florida. But make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control how your future is going to be. Together, we will rebuild and reclaim our freedom.”
The Supreme Court’s decision flies in the face of American popular opinion. Abortion bans and restrictions are deeply unpopular, with a Washington Post-ABC poll finding that 75% of people want decisions on abortion left to the woman and her doctor, including 95% of Democrats, 81% of independents and 53% of Republicans. A Gallup poll finds that 80% of the American public think abortion should be legal. A poll conducted by the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab after HB 5 was passed found that 60-percent of registered voters in Florida oppose even the 15-week abortion ban, much less an all out ban.
The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is the nonpartisan advocacy and political organization representing Florida’s two Planned Parenthood affiliates. The Alliance engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.