YWCA USA is serving as the lead organization on an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a current Mississippi case that will determine the future of Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The brief was filed officially on Sept. 20, and YWCA Dayton stands with YWCA USA in urging the Supreme Court to protect reproductive freedom for young women and young women of color in our community.
The vision of YWCA is a world in which all women and girls, especially women and girls of color, are free from racism and sexism, and can thrive. The case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization threatens that vision. We are a voice for women and girls, and we cannot sit on the sidelines during this fight. YWCA Dayton stands with YWCA USA in protecting the rights of all women to safe, secure futures.
“Ours is a mission that first focuses on keeping all women safe, whether we’re sheltering her overnight or providing a permanent supportive home or advocating for legislation that protects her from abuse. It has to be noted that having agency over your body is often seen as an individualistic concern, but for Black women and other women of color, it has always been first about safety. All things that threaten women’s protection and prosperity are threaded together; when even one woman isn’t safe, none are,” said Shannon Isom, president and CEO.
Reproductive autonomy is critical to women’s stability. This moment stands squarely at the intersection of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and racial justice, impacting young women’s ability to secure futures free from violence and discrimination and access full economic opportunity. Serving as the lead amicus brief signer is a major opportunity for YWCA to elevate our work as a voice for women and girls and further amplify our mission to eliminate racism and empower women.
“Young women would face significant harm as the first generation in half a century to enter adulthood without the fundamental right to decide whether and when to have children,” said Elisha Rhodes, Interim CEO of YWCA USA. “The stakes for this decision couldn’t be higher – reversing Roe would limit the full economic potential of young women, who could be pushed out of the workplace or forced to limit their education and careers. Everyone should have the freedom and power to make personal decisions about their lives, families, and futures.”
During this historic fight, we need allies to speak out for women and people of color. You can join us in this historic push for women’s equality and reproductive justice by:
• Telling Congress: every person has the constitutional right to make decisions regarding their reproductive health. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote the week of Sept. 20 on the Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 3755); use this form to contact your Congressperson today: https://ywca.quorum.us/campaign/35393/.
• Joining us on Oct. 2, , 1-3 p.m., at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton as we take part in the National Call to Mobilize and Defend Our Reproductive Rights with Women’s March and more than 90 other organizations.
• Learning more about YWCA Dayton’s reproductive rights policy position and understanding why reproductive justice is critical to supporting survivors of intimate-partner violence and women of color.