At the beginning of the summer — after more than two years of this awful pandemic — I yanked my kids out of school early and took them on their first airplane ride. We went to Disney World. It was a vacation I could have never imagined as a working-class kid growing up in Baltimore. As privileged and fortunate as I may be now, none of what I hold most dear in my life would be possible without Roe v. Wade and without access to contraception and abortion care. I wouldn’t have made it to this station in life if it weren’t for the generations of women who have fought before me. I can’t imagine any different for my daughter. Or my son.
But when I woke up after the Dobbs decision was released, I was left with the sobering realization that this Supreme Court gutted the federal protection of abortion rights and control over our women’s bodies. This is unconscionable. I’m penning this letter to say that we won’t go back and we won’t back down (”Michelle Goldberg: America’s post-Roe chaos is here,” July 5).
Let’s be clear. The laws already on the books in states across the country — the most restrictive in recent history, including complete bans from conception with no consideration for maternal health, rape or incest — along with the 13 states with trigger laws that were immediately enacted with the Dobbs ruling, are unconstitutional, and a majority of Americans don’t want them. Including me. Including so many of my friends and colleagues. The Dobbs ruling will impact people of color and poor people the most. People of means and privilege — mostly white women like me who can afford the travel, expenses and potential wage loss — will continue to get abortions. And that’s not OK.
We won’t stop fighting for abortion justice, and we aren’t alone. You’ll hear us. Millions of us, our voices loud, fierce and united. You’ll see us. Millions of us, strong, committed, continuing the fight for abortion rights in our cities, towns and state houses all across the country.
We will go to the polls. We will vote for elected officials that support protective federal abortion legislation and abortion rights in our states. We will cancel any elected who hasn’t. And we will fight until we defeat every candidate, every legislator, who wants to impose bans on our bodies.
We are loud. We are strong. We will vote. And we are not alone.
— Celeste Perilla, Baltimore
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