Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

ONE DAY left in this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A sign reading "Bans off our bodies" at a pro-choice rally

Participants hold signs during a "Hold The Line For Abortion Justice" rally at the U.S. Supreme Court on December 1, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc)

'This Is Horrific': US Supreme Court Keeps 6-Week Abortion Ban in Place

"The Supreme Court has no value of our bodies, lives, and futures," said one advocacy group. "We need to liberate abortion."

Julia Conley

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Reproductive rights advocates on Friday expressed outrage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Texas' six-week abortion ban can remain in effect—a ruling that will continue to force Texans to travel out of state to obtain care at clinics which have reported surging demand, or to continue their unwanted pregnancies.

"The Supreme Court has no value of our bodies, lives, and futures," tweeted Physicians for Reproductive Health, a national advocacy group. "We need to liberate abortion."

The group repeated calls made in recent months for the passage of the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would ensure people in every state in the U.S. have the right to obtain abortion care regardless of whether the high court overturns Roe v. Wade—as it's being asked to do by Mississippi officials in a case regarding the state's 15-week forced-pregnancy law.

The Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing the Texas law to stand for the time being; a federal court is expected to be asked to block the law again.

The court also ruled 8-1 that abortion providers can proceed with their lawsuit challenging the law, known as Senate Bill 8, which deputizes ordinary citizens who can win at least $10,000 in court after suing anyone who has "aided or abetted" a patient who obtains an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

"S.B. 8 has caused untold harm—forcing those who can afford it to travel out of state for the care they need, and those who can’t to remain pregnant against their will," said NARAL Pro-Choice America. "As it stands, S.B. 8 makes accessing abortion care in Texas nearly impossible. And the Supreme Court should have blocked it."

In her dissent joined in part by the other two liberal judges on the court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the court "should have put an end to this madness months ago," instead of allowing the law to go into effect in September.

Sotomayor dissented "from the court's dangerous departure from its precedents, which establish that federal courts can and should issue relief when a state enacts a law that chills the exercise of a constitutional right."

The court's ruling "betrays not only the citizens of Texas, but also our constitutional system of government," the justice wrote.

Stand Up America, which has advocated for Supreme Court expansion, said the right wing-dominated court's continued attacks on reproductive rights make the case for adding seats to the court via the Judiciary Act.

"The conservative supermajority of the Supreme Court demonstrated once again today that they are nothing more than right-wing political operatives appointed to the bench to do one thing: roll back fundamental rights long-guaranteed by our Constitution and a Supreme Court that once endeavored to uphold them," said Christina Harvey, executive director of the group.

"Today's decision made clear the need for Congress and President Biden to act on Supreme Court expansion—for the sake of rebalancing the ideological scale of the Court and protecting our fundamental rights," she added.

Progressive lawmakers added their voices to the call for the passage of the House-approved WHPA—and the elimination of the legislative filibuster to allow it to pass in the Senate.

"Texans have been living the back and forth of this case for months. It doesn't have to be this way," tweeted the Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Congress can ensure that every American, no matter where they live, has access to abortion."

"It's the filibuster or reproductive freedom," the caucus added.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just ONE DAY left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·

As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·

'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·

Assange Makes Final Appeal Against US Extradition

"If Julian Assange is not free, neither are we," said a protester at a Friday demonstration against the WikiLeaks founder's impending transfer. "None of us is free."

Brett Wilkins ·

'Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money': Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

"It was the conservative court's larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans' health and safety," warned one expert.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo