Loss of Roe Causing Dire Impacts on People with Low Income and People of Color

The following statement can be attributed to Indivar Dutta-Gupta, president and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) 

January 22, 2023, Washington, D.C.—Today commemorates the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States eliminated the constitutional protection of the right to abortion, decimating access to reproductive health care and jeopardizing health, lives, and economic security. We are now seeing these predicted harms playing out in real time.  

Every day since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, more people are being denied abortion care. Twelve states so far have imposed a total ban on abortion access, and another six have placed other bans or restrictions on abortion care. Individuals, including children and other victims of rape, are being denied abortions even when their physical and mental health are threatened and even when there is no possibility of a live birth. People are even being denied unrelated health care because the medications they need can also be used to induce an abortion. Others are forced to travel out of state to receive needed care, burdening their families and finances.   

We know that racial, gender, and economic equity depend on reproductive freedom. Indeed, the harm from the misguided Dobbs v. Jackson decision has fallen hardest on individuals with low incomes, including people of color and immigrants, whom our health care system already fails. Forcing people to carry a pregnancy against their will can have devastating and lasting consequences for them and their families. Our social protection systems already fall far short of what families need. Abortion bans push women and families into poverty and especially hurt those working to make ends meet, including young people and people of color. Individuals who sought and were denied an abortion are four times more likely to live below the poverty line than similar people who received this essential health care. 

We also know that Roe was never enough. Even before Roe, far too many faced insurmountable restrictions to abortion—including insurance coverage bans, bans on medication abortion, and inhumane policies that target immigrants. As we commemorate Roe today, we also recommit ourselves to building a world where people and their families—including children—determine their own reproductive futures. Today and every day until we achieve that vision, we call on policymakers at all levels to commit to bold, decisive action to legally enshrine reproductive freedom.