YWCAs Allentown and Bethlehem Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

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Lehigh Valley, PA, June 24, 2022 – At YWCA Allentown and YWCA Bethlehem, we are outraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a decision that overturns Roe v.  Wade and strips constitutionally protected reproductive rights from people across the United States.

In issuing this decision, the Supreme Court has chosen to ignore decades of precedent, the expertise of medical professionals, the clear will of the public, and the wisdom, dignity, and ability of all people who are able to become pregnant to make their own decisions about their bodies.

“The Supreme Court decision strips women and birthing people of their ability to make decisions about their individual reproductive health. This decision has been years in the making, and we must not lose sight of the battle that lays ahead of us to protect our reproductive rights as women and birthing people and the rights of all marginalized folks in our nation,” said Delia Marrero, executive director of YWCA Bethlehem. “The battle doesn’t stop here. Overturning 50 years of legal precedence opens the door to systematically undo the legal protections that promote an equitable and just society.”

We know that this decision is particularly harmful to people of color, who are already marginalized in our healthcare systems and other institutions due to long legacies of structural racism. It will also disproportionately impact low-income women who face serious barriers to care and who are less likely to be able to take time off of work or travel to legally access abortion services.

“Access to abortion care is critical to the stability and self-sufficiency of women and all who are able to become pregnant,” said Sarah E. Barrett, executive director of YWCA Allentown, “It directly impacts the ability of women to envision and create healthy lives full of economic opportunity and free from violence and discrimination.”

This decision was not accidental, and it did not happen overnight. Overturning Roe is the result of five decades of coordinated and well-funded action by anti-abortion politicians.

We all deserve better. We deserve leaders who trust pregnant persons to know what is right for their own bodies, lives, and futures. We deserve to live free from the threat of being criminalized for making decisions about our health and families. Bodily autonomy and abortion care are fundamental human
rights, despite what this Court has ruled.

In Pennsylvania and across the country, we vow to continue mobilizing and fighting back until everyone sees women and all people who are able to become pregnant the way we do. Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.