Today is a bad day for all of us.
MCEDV is devastated by today’s news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, shattering the right of people with the ability to conceive and bear children to determine what happens to our bodies and our lives. While this news comes as no surprise, it is nonetheless heartbreaking and infuriating for it to be made official.
Domestic abuse and violence is rooted in a person’s belief that they have the right to control and dominate another. We are seeing that belief play out right now at grand scale, as the United States Supreme Court eviscerates 49 years of legal precedent that we as individuals have the right to decide what happens in our own lives, our own bodies, our own destinies.
The intersections of pregnancy and abuse are well documented. Abusive people coerce their partners into pregnancy as a means of trapping them in the relationship; they use children as tools to monitor those they victimize; they pressure partners into abortions, which they then hold over their heads, using social stigma to further their position of dominance; and they sexually assault their partners, some of whom subsequently become pregnant. Survivors of abuse rely on abortion to protect themselves against all these threats, and more.
Americans’ access to abortion has long been undermined, and even before today there are states where a person who needs an abortion is functionally unable to access one. With the Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, we will see more of what we have already seen for too long: that those with the least power and resources – people with low incomes, BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+ folks and survivors among them – will be least able to access health care and to exercise control over their futures.
Maine’s DV advocates have helped survivors access abortion care for decades, and that isn’t changing. Maine’s abortion care providers are still here, still serving our communities; They need our support.
We can no longer have any confidence that our federal courts will stand as a check against state legislatures’ attacks on our fundamental rights to health, to privacy, and to equality. Legislative action at the federal level to codify the right to abortion and ensure meaningful access to comprehensive health care is urgently needed now, more than ever. We have a responsibility to ensure our representatives, here in Maine and in Washington, are committed to meaningful access to abortion care and all health care as a fundamental human right and are prepared to action that commitment.
MCEDV is in solidarity with the reproductive freedom and justice movements and with people across the nation who are demanding better. This decision makes America less safe for survivors, and less free for all of us.