The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

David Mizner, Center for Constitutional Rights,

The Center for Constitutional Rights Responds to the Reversal of Roe v. Wade

"An Authoritarian Jurisprudence of Violence and Control"


In response to the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, the Center for Constitutional Rights has issued the following statement. For our longer statement, please see here.

Things that are inevitable may still be shocking. The Center for Constitutional Rights is reeling from the Supreme Court's disturbing decision in Dobbs v. Whole Women's Health - from its arrogant dismissal of universally recognized principles of bodily autonomy, self-determination, and equality; its lawless disregard for generationally settled expectations of millions of people who order their lives around the freedom to access full reproductive healthcare, including abortion; and to the opinion's broader authoritarian premises. We fear what it portends concretely for people who can become pregnant - particularly poor and Black and Brown people- and for trans people whom state legislatures will increasingly seek to control and degrade.

Our organization has never believed that people would achieve liberation through the courts. But the threat that this Court poses to the possibility of progress through social movements is profound. This Court is ideologically committed to a jurisprudence of violence and control rooted in 18th Century norms of exclusive, white, male, propertied entitlement. It is a jurisprudence soaked in the bloodlust of a spate of state-sponsored executions and that also imagines constitutionally protected liberty in unbridled possession and use of deadly weapons; it honors wholesale disenfranchisement of Black people and other people of color in contravention of the Voting Rights Act and the Fifteenth Amendment; it elevates a shameful history of enslavement and exclusion, and proudly cosigns the grotesque desire by white male-dominated legislatures to control women's and trans persons sexuality, personhood, and freedom.

We are preparing for the criminalization of those who are working to protect the self-determination, bodily autonomy, and dignity of people who can get pregnant. But just as the United States does not stand alone in the world in regulating people's bodies, neither do those who resist. We find inspiration in feminist movements across the world that have fought for reproductive freedom within repressive regimes; we trust in the courage of human rights defenders in the U.S. South who have long provided life-affirming reproductive care despite the vicious effort to deprive Black, brown, and poor communities of access. The state may deny that rights exist, but it is the people who locate rights. It is the people who resist, and we stand proudly with the resisters.

We will draw on our own living history of protecting criminalized and marginalized people from abusive state practices. Together with our movement partners around the world, we will build power across communities and exchange strategies of resistance; we will continue to dismantle the vast architecture of white supremacy and gender oppression, and simultaneously channel energy, creativity, rage, and love towards building the world we deserve.

This fight for justice did not begin today; nor did it end. The Supreme Court has carried out a massive escalation in the counterrevolution against social progress. We must respond in kind, and then some.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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