In Shadow of Devastating Abortion Ruling, California Will Stand Tall

Thousands of people march for abortion rights in Washington
The US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has sparked protests across the nation, including at the court in Washington. Photo: Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The US Supreme Court ruling (PDF) ending the constitutional right to have an abortion is a generational setback for health care in America. An extensive body of research shows that access to the full range of reproductive health services, including abortion, is essential to the physical, mental, social, and economic well-being of women.

Make no mistake: By enabling states that seek to limit that access, the Supreme Court’s decision will do harm. Those expected to suffer most are women with low incomes and women of color.

“This horrifying decision will have devastating consequences, and it must be a wake-up call, especially to the young people who will bear its burden,” said former first lady Michelle Obama. “It may not feel like we are able to do much right now, but we can. And we must.”

As the full legal ramifications of this decision play out, several states will be emboldened to enact ever greater barriers to vital health services. Those actions will have a chilling effect on access to care that goes way beyond the letter of any law.

California continues to affirm a deep and abiding commitment to the right to abortion. That leadership is and will continue to be more important than ever in the wake of the court’s ruling.

Finally, I want to acknowledge the people who deliver reproductive health care in our state and around the country. Their work will be harder now, and they will need all our support as they continue to perform essential services in these times.