The Supreme Court announced Friday, June 24, its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision overturns Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that provided constitutional protection for abortion.
Following the decision, Jesse Milan Jr., who is both a lawyer and president and CEO of AIDS United, issued the following statement:
“The Supreme Court made a grave error today. Our judicial system is built upon an understanding of the importance of precedents. This decision overturns nearly 50 years of precedent that millions of women, men and families have relied on, and it threatens abortion access for millions more beginning now. We should also all fear that the decision provides the framework for overturning dozens of precedents and laws related to privacy and personal liberty.
“Whether or not a person choses to have an abortion or not is a private health decision, that should be between an individual, their faith and their health care provider. Those of us living with HIV know that private health decisions are personal and should be protected, not destroyed or made by legislators, or worse, the courts. This decision strikes at the heart of privacy and creates a frightening chilling effect.
“It is frightening for the millions of people who will be denied reproductive health care, and it could initiate a tidal wave of destruction of existing rights and protection.
“The decision reached back centuries to find its grounding, but the court’s majority ignores both the evolution of human experience and our ever-expanding ledger of human rights. We have to ask: What other forms of discrimination and oppression will the court’s current majority resurrect from the graveyards of history?
“LGBTQ+ people have existed since the dawn of time, but for centuries our love and our existence was criminalized. Lawmakers in this country are still attempting to criminalize us out of existence. It didn’t work in the Dark Ages, and it won’t work today.
“This decision is also a signal of the new normal for the court. This new normal demands that we play an active role in elections. The people on the Supreme Court are there because the president nominates them, and senators approve them. With control of the Senate up for grabs this November, and the next presidential election not far away, we must be vigilant and intentional about voting so the courts represent us and our constitutional views about our privacy, our health and our rights.”