Coalition for Reproductive Justice
Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization — September 6, 2022
We – a cross-generational group of students, community organizers, staff, faculty and academic departments – support students and community members seeking access to affirming medical care, including abortions. We implore you, Penn State and State College community members, to consider the implications of the overturning of Roe v. Wade from a reproductive justice standpoint, recognizing that the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will have consequences that reach much further than just abortion access.
Roe v. Wade protected privacy and prevented the government’s ability to interfere with private decisions—such as getting an abortion—made by consulting a medical professional. The Dobbs decision has made clear that this right to privacy will not function as it has for decades. In giving the states this authority to regulate private decisions regarding bodily autonomy, courts across the country triggered laws that severely limit and even outright ban abortion access. This opens the door for states to be able to invalidate marriages, criminalize sexual activity, ban fertility treatments, and limit (or potentially ban) access to contraceptives.
Although the implications of this decision impact all of us, they will fall the hardest on already-marginalized populations – people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, low-income individuals, religious minorities and many others. The Dobbs opinion also opens the door for the imposition of one particular Christian worldview with the knowledge that many states will use this new authority in precisely this way, removing any guarantee of the right to believe and act freely.
The fight for reproductive justice is especially critical in Pennsylvania, with midterm elections coming up on November 8. Senate Bill 106 threatens abortion access in the Commonwealth by proposing an amendment to the State Constitution by stating:
“This constitution does not grant the right to tax-payer funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.”
This denial of restriction will affect many other prerequisites to bodily and reproductive autonomy—access to contraceptives being just one. This systemic attack on bodily autonomy must be denounced by everyone—especially those with social privilege. This is everyone’s fight. We must stay informed and take action—in State College and beyond.
Ways to Take Action
Attend an all-day Reproductive Justice Expo this Friday, September 9 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Freeman Auditorium and First Floor HUB), featuring panels of experts, voter registration help and additional resources
Organize for pro-reproductive freedom candidates and elected officials
Advocate for elected officials to codify and expand access to all forms of reproductive healthcare—call and write to your representatives!
Create partnerships with pro-reproductive freedom religious organizations and communities
Build community around abortion and all forms of reproductive healthcare that support individuals’ freedom and autonomy
Follow us on social media and join our mailing list
- Coalition for Reproductive Justice
Advocate for just policies and educate students to create a more equitable Penn State, focusing on critical issues facing women, intersex, trans, and non-binary individuals — sexual violence, reproductive justice, and the intersection of marginalized identities.