U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
Sherry Levin Wallach, president of the New York State Bar Association, issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health:
In its ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, a precedent that has stood for nearly 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has severely limited the civil rights of all American women. The court has overturned precedent before, but every other time the court was driven by the desire to expand individual rights — not to take them away. And if the right to choose an abortion is no longer protected, other constitutional rights that we hold dear could also be in jeopardy.
The New York State Bar Association has long supported equality and equal protection under the law. It is likely that this ruling will have a disparate impact on people who are pregnant but have limited means and resources. Without federal protection, millions of women will no longer have the right to a safe, legal abortion and will be forced to travel between states to get the procedure. Those who cannot afford to seek an abortion out of state or do not have health insurance might resort to risky, illegal abortions. Many will be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, regardless of their access to medical or prenatal care, which jeopardizes their physical and mental well-being.
In ruling that the right to privacy no longer protects a woman’s right to choose an abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned away from a decision it made in 1973 even though the facts have not changed. This ill-conceived decision undermines public confidence in our legal system and reduces respect for the rule of law.
The New York State Bar Association’s Women in Law Section will provide opportunities for our members to focus on, study and react to the impact of the Dobbs decision on civil rights and the rule of law through its programming.
About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated, and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.