Today’s decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and almost forty years of Constitutional protection for the right to abortion is not only horribly wrong, it is a judicial and political travesty that shows how utterly out of touch and indifferent the wealthy and powerful few are to the needs of the great majority. No matter the language in which it is cloaked, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization re-affirms what many Americans know instinctively: legal rules are the means by which capitalism keeps working people down and maintains the systemic oppression of women and other groups.

There are no “alternative facts” that can hide history. Before Roe v. Wade, it is documented that dozens of women died every year as a result of illegal abortions and we know the real numbers are much higher. The year before the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision, over 100,000 pregnant women traveled from their homes to New York State in order to have abortions there. No one seriously believes that the Supreme Court’s decision today will stop abortions. What it will do is make abortions harder to get, more dangerous, and shrouded in fears of criminal prosecution.

No one who seriously claims to be “pro-life” should be happy with the Supreme Court’s decision. The last few years of the Covid-19 pandemic have shown that in the United States lack of access to health care can kill hundreds of thousands of women, men, children, and babies. This year has shown that politicians will ignore a shortage of baby formula until it becomes a desperate crisis. And every year shows that the lives of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people – and of poor whites, too – are valued at pennies on the dollar compared to the lives of wealthy white people. Allowing states to outlaw abortion is another attack on the rights of women, the rights of children, and the rights of human beings to have access to health care. The Supreme Court’s decision is another reflection of a society in which only a few human lives are valued more highly than monetary profit.

Today the Supreme Court showed working people in the U.S. that no human right is so fundamental that the rulers of this society cannot take it away.  But that is not the end of the story. Now it is up to all of us to join together and take back what belongs to us: the right to control one’s own body, the right to make reproductive and other medical choices, and the right to access health care.

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