Today, the Supreme Court issued the highly anticipated ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and overturned the landmark decision, Roe v. Wade.
YWCA has boldly led, time and time again, to secure rights that are essential to the pursuit of gender and racial justice. 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 overturn of legislation that has been codified for nearly 50 years is a direct threat to achieving that vision.
The Supreme Court has chosen to ignore decades of precedent, medical experts, and clear public will, upending women’s health and reproductive care in communities across the nation, including many of those served by YWCAs. We know that abortion bans and restrictions harm all people who can become pregnant, but women of color, LGBTQ persons, young women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and low-income people, who already faced serious barriers to care before this decision, will be impacted the most.
“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,” said Shannon Isom, president and CEO of YWCA Dayton. “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. We will always champion women’s right to receive the care they need to maintain bodily autonomy and strengthen their futures.”
In Ohio in 2020, 48% of abortion patients were Black, compared to 13% of the state population as a whole. This ruling will disproportionately harm Black women and as an organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, we stand ready to fight for the rights of women today and future generations. Our responsibility in this moment is clear: Just as we have for 152 years, YWCA Dayton will lead in this moment and make our voices heard. Join us:
- Tell your Senator to immediately pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) (S. 4132), which protects the right to safe and accessible abortion, free from burdensome and often medically unnecessary restrictions. Share this action alert with your supporters and colleagues.
- Contact your Ohio legislator and asking them to protect abortion access by voting against House Bill 598, which would remove critical reproductive rights in Ohio.
- Attend a demonstration. Across the country, communities are rallying this week and beyond to say #WeWontGoBack and to show their support of abortion rights. Use this map to find a demonstration in your area. If you join a rally, make a plan to stay safe: hydrate, go with a buddy, let your family know your timeline and transportation plans, and wear comfortable shoes.
- Speak out on social media. Share our posts and tag @ywcadayton to inform and motivate your networks.
“We know that healthcare, including access to abortion, is critical to women’s stability,” Isom said. “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 allow them to access full economic opportunity. The Supreme Court’s ruling is devastating, but it is not the end. We will continue to ensure peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, always.”