WEST PALM BEACH – A leaked draft majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case illustrates our constitutional right to abortion, established nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade is in grave jeopardy. Overturning Roe means 26 states could swiftly move to ban abortion – including 13 states with laws that could immediately go into effect. That means in half the country people would no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives. In response, reproductive rights advocates will stage rallies across Florida today at 5:00 PM. (see details below).
Statement from Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida:
“This is a stunning breach of trust by the Supreme Court. Taking away the freedom from people to make their own important health care decisions is devastating. This leaked memo has already inspired other extremists to call for Florida to ban all abortions. We are devastated, we are furious, and we will fight back.”
“This draft opinion is outrageous, and unprecedented, but it is not final. Abortion is still legal in Florida. As of today, it remains your constitutional right.
“At Planned Parenthood, we will keep fighting until every person, no matter where they live, how much money they earn, or what they look like, has the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives and futures.”
Statement from Alexandra Mandado, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida:
“Taking away the constitutional right to abortion is as dangerous as it is unprecedented and will open the floodgates, not just in Florida, but for states across the country to ban abortion.
“We know the harm that will come from this decision, because we’ve seen what is happening in Texas where people who do not have access to the financial resources and support they need to travel out of state are forced to carry pregnancies or flee their state to seek abortion outside of the health care system.
“But let’s be clear, today, abortion is still legal in Florida.”
Statement from Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates:
“The consequences of this impending Supreme Court decision will be devastating.
“Citizens in roughly half the country could have their reproductive rights stripped away by a handful of Justices hostile to our freedom.
“But Planned Parenthood will keep fighting until every person, no matter where we live, how much money we make, or what we look like, has the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives and futures.”
Barriers to accessing abortion and other health care services already exist, like finding childcare, taking time off of work, and navigating the costs of transportation and lodging associated with traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles. But this decision means the number of people dealing with these obstacles to get the essential health care they need will increase significantly.
The people who will be most harmed by this decision include the Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other people of color disproportionately impacted by abortion bans and restrictions – a product of this country's legacy of racism and discrimination.
The Supreme Court’s draft 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.