On June 21, 2023

One year since Roe was overturned

 

Dear Editor,

Saturday, June 24, marks one year since the Supreme Court of the U.S. overturned Roe v. Wade in the case titled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

With that decision, the court ended the federal constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years and allowed states to ban abortion. This was a devastating decision, but abortion remains legal in Vermont. And Vermont remains a beacon of hope for all who seek this basic health care.

Together, we have the strength to win the fight for abortion rights and access. The chaos and anguish caused by last year’s Supreme Court ruling to rob us of our rights has led to devastation for tens of millions of people and counting. It stripped people of their right to make personal medical decisions. It left patients across the country desperate, confused and fearful, and forced doctors to prioritize politics over medicine — putting health care at risk.

But opponents of sexual and reproductive rights are no match for the will of the American people. This movement is powerful and built to last. Together, we’ve already secured major victories at the ballot box and in state legislatures, and we’re just getting started. 

State by state, we will hold elected officials accountable for any attempt to control our bodies, our lives, and our futures. And know this: Planned Parenthood advocacy organizations won’t stop. Freedom is our birthright, and we will build a just world that includes nationwide access to abortion for all. 

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, the Legislature, Gov. Phil Scott, and Vermonters made history by passing Prop 5, the Reproductive Liberty Amendment in November 2022. This addition to our state constitution protects every person’s right to make their own reproductive decisions, such as whether/when to become pregnant, use temporary or permanent birth control, or  abortion care.

In this past legislative session, lawmakers passed, and Gov. Scott signed, two abortion and gender-affirming “shield bills” into law that are the first in the country to explicitly include protecting access to a medication widely used in abortions even if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration withdraws its approval of the pill, mifepristone. These bills protect health care providers from repercussions for providing legally protected reproductive and gender-affirming health care services.

With future access to a widely used abortion medication – mifepristone — in the hands of federal courts, Vermont officials have secured a supply of the pill. We have your back.

We are the majority. Support for protecting access to safe and legal abortion is at an all-time high.

The public is with us, and Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations will continue to be bold as we fight for their freedom to control their own bodies.

A post-Roe world is scary for millions of Americans. We’re fortunate to live in Vermont, where the majority of politicians have no intention of getting involved in our personal medical decisions. So thank your representatives and the governor for supporting reproductive rights and basic health care.

Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for reproductive rights, abortion rights, and transgender rights. We will always be in your corner.

Lucy Leriche, VP of public affairs for Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund. She is a former Vermont state legislator

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