Today marks the first anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a decision that shook the foundations of our nation and forever altered the landscape of women's healthcare.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that had safeguarded a woman's right to choose for nearly five decades, the Court dealt a devastating blow to the constitutional protection of abortion. This ruling, which granted states the power to ban abortions, sent shockwaves through the country, igniting a passionate and ongoing debate about the fundamental rights of women.
As the leader of the Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus, I understand that this issue has never been about saving unborn babies, or even about controlling women. It’s about controlling all aspects of society. The admitted goal of the authoritarians who knocked down Roe a year ago is to roll back a generation of progress in civil rights across the board. We’ve watched it happening with book banning, increased voter suppression, outrageous new anti-LGBT legislation, and more.
In the wake of this decision one year ago today, every state has been compelled to address the issue of abortion in some way. Some states have chosen to enact laws that further restrict or outright ban access to abortion services, infringing upon the bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom of countless women. These callous laws, disguised as moral righteousness, often disregard the real-world consequences they impose on individuals and families.
However, amid this wave of restriction, there have also been beacons of hope. Numerous states, such as my home state of California, have taken a courageous stand, recognizing the inherent value of preserving a woman's right to control her own life, body, and future. They have acted to protect and uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution, recognizing that reproductive autonomy is a fundamental human right.
We’ve heard heart-breaking stories of the countless women who have faced impossible choices, grappling with the deeply personal decisions that come with unintended pregnancies. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends who have found themselves at a crossroads, forced to make life-altering decisions for themselves and their families. We stand beside them, offering compassion, empathy, and support rather than judgment and condemnation.
The battle for reproductive rights is far from over. It is a struggle that requires unwavering dedication and vigilance.
The Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus is working at the forefront of this struggle. Through education, community-building, activism, and helping to get out the vote, especially among American women living abroad, our GWC Reproductive Justice Action Team is pushing back against this attack on our fundamental human rights.
GWC advocates for policies that prioritize comprehensive sex education, affordable contraception, and accessible healthcare services for all. We also continue to challenge the barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized communities, recognizing that reproductive justice is intrinsically linked to social justice.
To those who seek to dismantle the progress that generations of women who came before us have made, let me be clear: our determination cannot be extinguished. We will stand united against any attempts to erode the rights and freedoms of women. We will raise our voices in defense of bodily autonomy and fight for a future where every person can make decisions about their own bodies without interference or coercion.
And make no mistake. The erosion of women’s reproductive freedom is not just a problem for our stateside sisters. Those of us who are lucky enough to be living in more liberal host countries are not out of danger. Patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide, seeking to strip women of their agency and relegate them to the sidelines of their own lives.
In closing, I urge you to join the fight by becoming a volunteer with our caucus. Whatever your interest, skill set, and available time might be, we would be grateful for your help.
You can help to protect the rights of women everywhere by helping us to get the word out to Americans living abroad about what’s happening stateside and by helping us to get out the crucial overseas vote. This is where our power lies. Together, we can overwhelm those who have stolen our rights and rebuild a society that upholds the principles of equality, autonomy, and true justice for all.
Ann Hesse, Chair DA Global Women’s Caucus
In 2023, there are elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Wisconsin. Americans overseas request your absentee ballot today at votefromabroad.org. Every vote counts.