June 24, 2022

ACS Statement in Response to the Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade


Contact: Pablo Willis, pwillis@acslaw.org  

Washington, DC — The Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority erased a constitutional right with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health today, proving itself hostile to the Court’s own precedent and indifferent to the crippling impact this decision will have on the Court’s credibility. As more countries worldwide embrace and strengthen abortion rights, the Supreme Court has taken this country backward by recklessly revoking a fundamental human right to bodily autonomy.   

The Supreme Court’s decision will inflict enormous harm on millions of peoples' lives in every corner of the country. Moreover, the impact will be disproportionately felt by people of color and low-income people, as we have already seen in Texas where the Supreme Court has allowed abortion to effectively be banned since September. As a result of this decision, abortion is now banned in over two dozen states and will be severely restricted in others. Those states that do protect abortion rights and have abortion providers will be inundated with pregnant people traveling from states with bans in place.  

Today’s decision requires a response from our government at all levels, from the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to local authorities. Reproductive freedom is imperative to our society, and it will take an aggressive and coordinated effort to begin to undo the damage from the Supreme Court’s decision. No stone must be left unturned as we work together to protect this fundamental right.  

“We must be clear about how we got here. Today’s ruling is the result of a decades-long crusade against reproductive rights led by the far-right and by the Right’s intentional packing of the Supreme Court,” said ACS President Russ Feingold. “This ruling is further proof that the Court’s conservative supermajority is using its power to advance a nakedly partisan agenda, at the expense of our constitutional rights. As Justice Sotomayor suggested at the oral argument, the Court’s credibility will not survive the stench of this decision.” 

“The deeply flawed reasoning in this decision is a direct threat to other constitutional rights and precedents,” Feingold said. “This decision effectively serves as an invitation for states and plaintiffs to pursue litigation to rewrite long held constitutional law in this country in the interests of white supremacy, sexism, and misogyny. The Court must be urgently reformed to restore its legitimacy and preserve our constitutional democracy. Failure to take meaningful steps to redress this packed Court will result in the perpetuation of this conservative supermajority’s assault on our most fundamental rights.”  

“ACS has said it for years, courts matter and who sits on them matters,” said ACS Executive Vice President Zinelle October. “Today’s reckless decision proves the impact – and devastating human toll – that our highest court can inflict on the country. However, it also underscores the importance of state courts as, starting today, the fate of reproductive rights and people’s bodily autonomy falls to state legislatures and ultimately to state courts. ACS is committed to reproductive freedom and is actively working to identify and recruit progressive, diverse, and qualified candidates for state courts who are committed to upholding civil rights and liberties.”    


ACS believes that the Constitution is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We interpret the Constitution based on its text and against the backdrop of history and lived experience. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, and many others, we work to uphold the Constitution in the 21st Century by ensuring that law is a force for protecting our democracy and the public interest and for improving people’s lives. For more information, visit us at www.acslaw.org or on Twitter @acslaw.