Hon. Judy Harris Kluger, Executive Director of Sanctuary for Families, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“Today’s Supreme Court’s decision, decided largely on ideological lines, to overturn Roe v. Wade and Casey ignores 50 years of precedent and is a blatant attack on human rights. Many states are now free to impose bans on abortion with no exceptions, even for rape and incest. The three judges in the minority eloquently wrote that they dissent ‘with sorrow — for this Court, but more for the many million American women who today have lost a fundamental constitutional protection.’
Like domestic violence, abortion bans are about power and control. In allowing states to restrict women from accessing abortion, the Court is stripping away their bodily autonomy — leveraging its power to force women to carry unwanted, unsafe, or unviable pregnancies to term with utter disregard for what that means to their rights as equal citizens of this nation.
Bans on abortion can mean a death sentence — for women with high-risk pregnancies whose doctors deny them life-saving medical care; for women resorting to unsafe methods out of fear of prosecution or due to a lack of alternatives; and for women in abusive relationships living in a country where homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women.
This devastating decision comes right after the Court’s irresponsible ruling striking down a century-old New York law that limited the carrying of concealed firearms outside the home. This, despite the evidence that access to a gun makes it five times more likely that an abuser will kill their victim.
As one of New York’s leading service providers for survivors of gender violence, we know how detrimental both rulings are to the safety and wellbeing of our clients and victims across the country.
Today’s ruling grants more power to abusers who use sexual violence and reproductive coercion to control their victims. It also adds yet another barrier for survivors to whom abortion represents a lifeline and a path towards freedom from abuse. The Court’s ruling and the impending state bans will disproportionately affect women of color, trans and nonbinary people, women with disabilities, and those living in poverty who lack the resources to travel to states where abortion is legal.
As horrifying as they are, these attacks on our rights will not deter us from our mission to build a world free from violence. Sanctuary stands more committed than ever to the Movement for Reproductive Justice and will prioritize access to abortion and gun control in our advocacy efforts.”
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