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RuralOrganizing.org Statements on Supreme Court Ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The following is a statement from Aftyn Behn, Campaign Director at RuralOrganizing.org

Unfortunately for those of us living in Southern states, post-Roe conditions have been our reality for a long time. We know that rural women, low-income women and rural women of color will face even greater difficulty accessing abortion and reproductive care and that pregnancy and childbirth complications will lead to more deaths. 

Especially in southern states which codified the criminalization of pregnancy, abortion bans and the reversal of Roe is state-sanctioned violence. In this moment, I can only be hopeful and guided by the agency and doggedness of  abortion providers, organizers, lawyers, and reproductive justice networks that will continue to provide care and fight these oppressive laws rooted in white supremacy to control women’s bodies.  

Politicians have been working for decades to make abortion as difficult as possible to get: its time to reject  any candidates who do not believe in the right to abortion and defeating far right, extremist candidates who seek to impose their minority will upon our bodily autonomy. We will continue to  advocate and build a world where abortion isn’t just legal -- it’s accessible, affordable, and destigmatized.

The following is a statement from Annie Contractor, Policy Research Analyst at RuralOrganizing.org

There will never be a time when abortions don't happen, but more importantly, there will never be a time when we don’t NEED abortions. Access to abortion serves every single one of us - adults of all genders, children, from babies to the elderly. Access to abortion is a livelihoods issue, a hunger issue, an education issue, a domestic violence issue, a labor issue, a small business issue. We all need it.

But today's decision will instead criminalize women who dare to think they can make their own decisions, that their lives and bodies are their own, and anyone who dares to support them. And let's be clear: it's not women like me who will bear the brunt of this criminalization. It will be the women who always bear it - my family members with disabilities, my Black friends, my Indigenous neighbors.

It’s  worth thinking about what, and who, is served by today's decision. Who stands to gain when rights are taken away? And WHAT do they gain? When we get closer to each person having shared, equal rights, the power of the powerful loses potency.

The Supreme Court, between yesterday and today, could not have been more clear: not everyone deserves equal rights. Not everyone is a full person under our constitution. And our systems, from their inceptions, never intended to guarantee equal rights, but to concentrate power.

As the highest court in our country has decided it is going to spend its time ripping away peoples' rights, of course we can support abortion providers and the people in the interstate systems working their asses off to make sure people can get the care they need (and thank you to all of you doing so!). It is also time for civil disobedience. 

The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.org:

As Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan said, "Above all others, women lacking financial resources will suffer from today’s decision."

That is why we support groups like The National Network of Abortion Funds which help remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access. Donations can be made to The National Network of Abortion Funds here and there is more information about starting a fundraiser here. You can find your local fund here.

No woman needs Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh or Ted Cruz looking over their shoulder as they are making personal decisions about their health and their bodies. Today’s Supreme Court ruling by the right-wing Justices eviscerated Roe v. Wade. It is a despicable political decision by Justices who put their extreme right-wing politics ahead of the rights of women.

I've often heard that restricting abortion rights will be popular in rural areas so we tested that premise. Here's some important news. That isn't true. In 2020, RuralOrganizing.org conducted a poll of rural voters in battleground states asking:  “How Strongly do you agree with the following statement: Should Abortion be illegal?  Nationwide, 50% of rural voters disagreed with that statement - 35% strongly. 

And, that's what we are facing now. Republicans and their political accomplices on the Court are taking the steps to make abortion illegal. Access to rural health care is already a very serious crisis in many rural communities. GOP Senators hear that all the time. Instead of working on that, they are endangering the lives of women.

Please note that the entire RuralOrganizing.org team stands in solidarity with these statements.

“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.”

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