We join the world in mourning the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a member of the feminist vanguard and giant in the abortion access movement. Over the course of her half-century-long career, she was an architect of the legal movement for gender equality. She took a fierce, unwavering, and innovative approach to advancing reproductive freedom, civil rights, voter protections, immigration, health care, and so many issues vital to our survival.
On abortion access, hers was often the voice that articulated the clear-eyed truth that being able to control our reproductive destiny is essential to our personal, political, and economic freedom. She was a staunch opponent of the Hyde Amendment and abortion coverage bans, mandatory waiting periods, and restrictions that shuttered clinics and made abortion all the more inaccessible. She surfaced the hypocrisy and challenged the ludicrousness of abortion barriers in court opinions. In this way, she brought the lived experiences of people who call abortion funds into the halls of the Supreme Court, illuminating that technically legal abortion is not enough when the obstacles are compounded for those with less means. She galvanized generations of activists – even if we didn’t agree with her every decision – and she moved us to keep fighting, against all odds.
We also mourn that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was never able to rest. In her 2013 dissent in the voting rights case Shelby County v. Holder, Justice Ginsburg agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr., that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” adding, “if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.” She lived that steadfast commitment and fought for our rights until her very last breath at the age of 87. So much protection should not have rested on her shoulders alone.
Like many, we’re anticipating that the current administration will attempt to push through the nomination of a justice who will be highly conservative in their opinions regarding abortion, as well as contraception, economic support for parents and families, and civil rights. It’s right to feel scared, nervous, and angry. But you can feel certain that, no matter what happens, we will join our members and partners to root in our own steadfast commitment to fight like hell to ensure people seeking abortions get the resources and support they deserve, to see our task through to completion.
In the coming days, we’ll share more ways for you to engage, take action, and support abortion access in light of the challenges ahead. For starters, you can call members of the Senate(contact information at the link, or dial (888) 521-6658 to be directly connected with your senators). Urge them to ensure that there is no confirmation hearing and no vote before the inauguration, with particular emphasis on the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Utah, Iowa, New York, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina. You can thank those senators who have already expressed a commitment to a “no” vote and urge those who haven’t to do so.
In Justice Ginsburg’s honor, we recommit to taking up her mantle and working every day to ensure that abortion access and reproductive freedom is a reality for all people seeking to end a pregnancy. We commit to raising our voice and leading with values. To voicing our dissent loudly and with conviction in the face of threats to our bodily autonomy. To organizing, caring for our communities, and building lasting power towards a world in which justice and liberation is fully realized.
Justice Ginsburg, may your memory be a revolution. We will make you proud.