Reproductive rights and bodily autonomy are vital freedoms we must restore and protect

People protesting to defend the right to an abortion

Asylum Access’ Response to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Ruling

To our friends and allies:

Rage. Sadness. Despair. Grief. These are just some of the emotions we know many across the United States and the world are feeling right now. It’s taken us days to write this statement because we, too, are not okay.

As a women-founded and led human rights advocacy organization, the US Supreme Court’s decision to deny women, trans men and non-binary people the right to bodily autonomy is deeply personal to us. This decision not only reverses decades of established precedent, but it puts the health and lives of millions at risk, especially those from low-income and marginalized communities.

We can, and we must, push back. There are many ways to advocate, no matter who you are, where you live, or where you work. There are always challenges and setbacks. But in the darkest moments, we must rise together and continue to demand change.

We know this fight—Asylum Access has been advocating for the human rights of forcibly displaced people for nearly two decades. In 2018, we supported and collaborated on the ACLU’s case Garza vs. Hargan, which prevented underage immigrant women in US federal custody from being denied access to an abortion. For many who have fled sexual violence, getting immediate access to reproductive care, including abortion, in their country of refuge is vital.

The next few weeks and months will be critical. Abortion funds, advocacy organizations, and healthcare providers will be facing exponential demand for services, potential for lawsuits and/or prosecution, and potential for increased violence. They, and the millions of people who can get pregnant who will now be denied access to an abortion because of this ruling, need our solidarity. 

Here are a few actions you can consider:

  • Support legal defense funds so that individuals as well as groups working on this issue, including clinics and health care providers, are able to protect themselves from litigation
  • Support clinics in states where abortion remains legal, as they will be seeing a dramatic increase in demand
  • Encourage business leaders to step up (or if you are a business leader, step up) by making strong public statements and supporting their employees

And to all the women, trans men and nonbinary friends located in the US and other countries that prohibit or severely restrict your right to bodily autonomy who are feeling scared, violated or hopeless right now—we see you. We are here for you. We will come together to restore and expand our collective rights.

With love and in solidarity,

The Asylum Access team