For Immediate Release
BERKELEY: The Othering & Belonging Institute is deeply disappointed in last week's Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, which we view as a step backwards not just in the fight for women's rights, but for all groups vying for equality.
As an institute whose mission it is to create a society where all groups belong, we view reproductive freedom as a necessary condition for political and economic equality on the basis of sex.
Friday's ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization makes it more difficult to have a society in which egalitarian norms can be maintained if a group of people is stripped of their reproductive freedom.
This is not only true in the United States but all over the world where countries curtail reproductive freedom by blocking access to things like contraception and family planning resources.
We are also deeply concerned that the reasoning of the Dobbs decision raises serious doubts as to whether other Supreme Court decisions protecting the rights of vulnerable groups will be upheld.
The reasoning provided in Justice Alito's Dobbs opinion was that the right to abortion was not a part of United States history or tradition. If the court can use that reasoning as a basis to overturn Roe, then it is not inconceivable that it may later undo cases securing the rights for LGBT people, including marriage equality.
But we also do not believe this situation is permanent or hopeless. The fight for gender, racial and LGBT equality is not over. For the time being the fight has shifted to the state level.
And in the future, as the composition of the rightwing US Supreme Court eventually changes, we will have another shot at regaining the reproductive rights we lost last week using a more robust legal framework.