Remembering Roe vs. Wade: The 50th Anniversary and the Need for Reproductive Justice for Black and Indigenous Women
Today marks what would have been the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which granted women the constitutional right to access abortion. Unfortunately, this year also marks the overturning of Roe in June of 2022. This decision has left many women feeling devastated and uncertain about their reproductive rights and access to healthcare.
However, as we reflect on the legacy of Roe v. Wade, it’s important to acknowledge that the decision was never enough for Black and Indigenous women. Even before the overturning of Roe, these communities have always faced a lack of access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion services. This is a result of systemic racism and discrimination that has led to economic, social, and political barriers that prevent these women from accessing the healthcare they need.
The overturning of Roe is a devastating blow to the reproductive rights of all women, but it also presents an opportunity to rebuild something even better than Roe. We must work towards a vision of reproductive justice that prioritizes the needs and experiences of Black and Indigenous women. This means creating a system where every person who chooses to have an abortion or become a parent can have equity and access.
Reproductive justice is a framework that understands that reproductive rights are inextricably linked to social justice issues, such as poverty, racism, and discrimination. It acknowledges that every person should have the right to make decisions about their bodies, their families, and their communities without fear of discrimination or violence.
To achieve reproductive justice for Black and Indigenous women, we must address the systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing healthcare. This includes investing in community-based healthcare organizations that provide culturally-competent care, addressing economic inequality, and dismantling the systems of oppression that have created these barriers in the first place.
In conclusion, as we remember the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must also acknowledge that the decision was never enough for Black and Indigenous women. The overturning of Roe presents an opportunity to rebuild something even better – a vision of reproductive justice that prioritizes the needs and experiences of all women, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. We must work towards a future where every person has the right to make decisions about their bodies, their families, and their communities without fear of discrimination or violence.