More than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concluded that the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion, the nation has been reeling in the ruling’s aftermath.
The Dobbs decision triggered the end of abortion care at more than 60 clinics across 15 states in just over the first three months. After nearly 50 years of the safeguard of Roe v. Wade, women across the country no longer have the right to bodily autonomy, and other areas of life — including workplaces and data privacy — have felt the effect.
A panel of experts will examine the impact of the high court’s decision on individuals, communities and the rule of law at the program “After Roe and the Promise of the 14th Amendment” on Thursday, Aug. 3, from 3:30-5 p.m. MDT at the 2023 American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Denver. The session is sponsored by the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.
The panelists are:
- Autumn Katz, interim director, U.S. Litigation, Center for Reproductive Rights
- Cherisse Scott, founder, SisterReach
- Nancy Cardenas Peña, campaign director, Abortion on Our Own Terms
- Natalie Hanlon Leh, chief deputy attorney general, Colorado Attorney General’s Office
“We feel this program is timely and critical as it will discuss the erosion of the rule of law caused by the Dobbs decision and its impact on vulnerable communities and birthing people,” said panel moderator Aracely Munoz, director of the Lawyers Network and the Washington, D.C., office of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The Dobbs decision has impacted almost every area of the law and touched so many aspects of people’s daily lives in unprecedented ways.”
Attendees will hear from reproductive justice and legal leaders on the frontlines who are seeing firsthand the impact of Dobbs on women and their communities, including the harms that pregnant people living in ban states are experiencing because of the ruling as well as its effect on people experiencing pregnancy complications who may need emergency care.
The panel will also discuss how the court’s decision may impact other privacy and liberty rights in the future, including marriage equality, access to contraception and the right to engage in intimate relations.
The ABA has long supported the right to reproductive choice. At the 2022 Annual Meeting in Chicago, the association reaffirmed decades-long ABA policy that embraced a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy. In 1992, the ABA adopted a resolution supporting the right to abortion before fetal viability and a more limited right thereafter, and in-2019 the House of Delegates adopted policy that generally advocated an end to laws that restrict and regulate abortion access.
“We hope our colleagues will walk away from this program with not only an understanding of the impact of Dobbs on diverse communities but also the law and how they can help rebuild access to the critical right to abortion and reproductive health care,” Munoz said.