Washington, D.C. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade and the first anniversary since the Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe and eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion. 

In response to today’s anniversary, Democracy Forward President & CEO Skye Perryman issued the following statement:

“Fifty years ago today, the United States Supreme Court protected the privacy rights of millions of American women whose ability to determine when and whether to become pregnant had previously been left up to politicians in their state.  In the years since Roe v. Wade was decided, a constellation of highly-organized, resourced, and coordinated legal organizations built a campaign in communities and in the courts to restrict and ultimately ban access to abortion care.  Last summer, the Court issued Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, overturning Roe and leaving the lives and health of millions of Americans in the balance. 

The ruling energized anti-democratic extremists – they’ve expanded their attacks on abortion access to further limit speech, to criminalize the ability of people like social workers to assist those who need care, to undermine federal protections for reproductive health care, and to jeopardize contraception access and access to assisted reproductive technologies like IVF. We know these efforts to strip people and communities of their democratic rights don’t stop at reproductive health care – voting rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, and quality public education are all under threat. 

While this movement is powerful, it will not have the last word. 

At Democracy Forward, we work every day alongside communities throughout the county to counter extremism and build for the future and realize their power to make change. After Dobbs was leaked, we filed the first case in the country challenging a criminal abortion ban with arguments that do not depend on Roe. Our defeat of the City of Lebanon Ohio’s attempt to keep an expansive, criminal prohibition on “aiding” and “abetting” people seeking to access legal abortion care is proof that the far-right’s post-Dobbs legal strategy is not bulletproof.  

In the days ahead, our team will continue to use the law and harness the voices of the American people to meet this pivotal moment in the fight for American democracy.”