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‘Abortion Is One Piece of the Puzzle’

May 03, 2022

Isabella Hernandez L’24, Co-Chair of If/When/How, a student pro bono project dedicated to lawyering for reproductive justice, reacts to the leaked SCOTUS opinion.

According to a leaked draft published by Politico, the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights.

Isabella Hernandez L’24, Co-Leader of If/When/How, a student pro bono project dedicated to lawyering for reproductive justice at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, released this statement:

I’m not surprised by the decision, but it hurts nonetheless.

Wealthy individuals, especially white individuals, will always have access to safe abortions regardless of what their state chooses to do when this decision is finalized. I fear for the people in this country who depend on Roe and Casey to access abortion care and who depend on the reasoning undergirding those cases and others like Lawrence and Obergefell for fundamental rights protections.

Reproductive justice is about people having the freedom to choose if, when, and how to have children. It’s about being able to raise those children in safe, supportive environments. Sister Song has long taught us the importance of the reproductive justice movement beyond abortion. Abortion is one piece of the puzzle. We need abortion care so that someone can’t afford a child and/or doesn’t want to have a child can make that deeply personal decision for themselves.

Our system doesn’t even support poor families once children are born, instead ripping children away from parents/guardians and sticking them in the family policing system (nod to Prof. [Dorothy E.] Roberts). Removing abortion will only overload an already rotten system. People won’t be able to abort and then once the child is born, if born at all given how high-risk pregnancy is, especially for Black women, the child will be taken from their home if the state deems the parents unfit. But, because people are born into poverty by no fault of their own and can’t move up under a racial capitalist system that only perpetuates poverty rather than uplifting those with the least resources, their dependence on state resources gives states greater power to surveil them and remove their children more easily.

When abortion care becomes illegal, poor people will suffer immensely. And the justices who signed onto Alito’s opinion will sleep well at night knowing they selectively followed a Constitutional interpretation analysis to say that the Roe reasoning was never a sound one based in the Constitution, even if their doing so takes fundamental rights away from people. They care more about pleasing our dead founders than the real people today whose rights are on the line. Poor people, Black people, Latinx people, Indigenous people, Women, Queer people, People with disabilities…the list goes on, and the identities intersect.

Our democratic process is broken. Voting won’t save us. We need to use people power to move this country in the direction we want it. We need a revolution in thought and action to save ourselves from what’s to come.

Read more Penn Carey Law reactions to the leaked SCOTUS opinion.