The U.S. Supreme Court on January 22, 1973, issued its Roe v. Wade ruling that ensured the constitutional right to an abortion for all American citizens. The Supreme Court last June overruled this landmark decision.
Fifty years later, LGBTQ activists are among those who have commemorated Roe, despite the fact the Supreme Court has overturned it. The decision, which has since caused tension between liberal and conservative groups, prompted federal and state lawmakers to act upon the sudden revocation of what many consider to be a fundamental right.
Roe’s legal premise relied heavily upon the right to privacy that the 14th Amendment provided; however, legal experts argued that it was a vague interpretation of the amendment.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday delivered remarks on Roe’s anniversary in Tallahassee, Fla., saying how most “Americans relied on the rights that Roe protected.”
“The consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling are not only limited to those who need reproductive care,” said Harris. “Other basic healthcare is at risk.”
The overruling of Roe put into question the security of other long-held precedents, such as Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 case that legalized same-sex marriages, and Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision that legalized interracial marriages, because they rely on the same right to privacy that upheld Roe.
In that same speech, Harris announced President Joe Biden would issue a presidential memorandum to direct all government departments to ensure access to abortion pills at pharmacies.
“Members of our Cabinet and our administration are now directed, as of the president’s order, to identify barriers to access to prescription medication and to recommend actions to make sure that doctors can legally prescribe, that pharmacies can dispense, and that women can secure safe and effective medication,” Harris affirmed.
LGBTQ organizations and other human rights groups continue to work to protect reproductive rights.
Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said she found it intolerable that “an extremist set of judges” had taken away an important right not only for women, but also nonbinary people, trans men, and the entire LGBTQ+ community.
“Because we know that reproductive rights are LGBTQ+ rights, and that so many in our community rely on access to abortion care and other reproductive health services,” said Robinson in regards to Roe’s 50th anniversary. “The ripple effects of this decision will impact the most marginalized among us the most, and we cannot stand for that.”
“Overturning Roe v. Wade was the first time in history that the Supreme Court has taken away rights, and we know that they will not stop there,” added Robinson. “This is a dangerous turning point for our country, and we have to affirmatively defend against this assault.”
Robinson said HRC is working with coalition partners to fight the roll-back of abortion rights at the state and federal level.
Christian Fuscarino, executive director of Garden State Equality, a statewide LGBTQ rights group in New Jersey, said his organization is “laser-focused on ensuring that people with trans and nonbinary experiences are experiencing lived equality, which includes bodily autonomy.”
Equality Florida showed its support of Roe by standing alongside Harris during her Tallahassee speech with several other lawmakers and activists. They also denounced Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ antiabortion policies, as well as the Florida legislature.
Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/