In November, the US Supreme Court announced it will hear two cases that could devastate access to reproductive care. The first is a sequel to the 2014 Hobby Lobby case. The Court will hear seven appeals from religious organizations claiming the Affordable Care Act contraceptive accommodation opt-out form is a burden to complete. The second case to come before the Court, Whole Womanâ€™s Health v. Cole, is considered to be the biggest one since the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey and could result in severely limiting access to abortion services nationwide.
Now the Court is being asked to hear a third case, one that could overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.Â North Dakota State attorneys have filed a petition with the Court in support of the nationâ€™s most extreme anti-abortion bill â€“ North Dakotaâ€™s six-week abortion ban. If it agrees to hear the case, there is good reason to fear the Roberts Court will find against women and overturn Roe.
Why is the US Supreme Court suddenly deciding to hear these cases?
It is a presidential election year and the next president will, most likely, appoint at least one new Supreme Court justice. Depending on which party controls the US Senate and/or the White House will determine what kind of judge we get. That fact probably greatly concerns Court justices on both sides of the issue.
Sadly, there is little we can do about the cases coming before the Supreme Court. Yes, we can demonstrate, and we should. But it is a little late to affect these Supreme Court justices. Four are with us; four are against us; and the ninth, Justice Kennedy, who is the deciding vote, too often sides with whatâ€™s become the Supreme Court Boysâ€™ Club.
But donâ€™t lose hope. Thereâ€™s a lot that we at WCLA â€“ Choice Matters can do with your support.Â Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. When you, our donors, provide us with the funding needed, weâ€™re able to do extraordinary things. Your contribution â€“ large or small â€“ will make a difference.
Join with Choice Matters:
1.) Vote for the Democratic presidential nominee. ALL of the Republican candidates are running on an anti-abortion platform promising to overturn Roe if elected. If you support reproductive rights, you have no choice but to vote for the Democratic candidate; and not voting means losing.
2.) Help Us Fortify New York State. While the Supreme Court can overturnRoe and thereby take away the right to an abortion, it cannot outlaw abortion. We must update NYâ€™s laws and make them the best and strongest they can possibly be.
People incorrectly think there is no problem for women in New York State. The reality is quite different. In 2012, NY cut $2 million from the family planning budget and still hasnâ€™t restored those funds. In 2015, nine anti-choice bills were proposed in Albany. Currently 53% of NYâ€™s counties have no abortion clinics and the number of abortion providers decreases every year. For those living outside of New York City, getting an abortion past 16 weeks is difficult. Women generally have to travel to the City or Westchester to terminate, costing money and time away from family and work. After 24 weeks, itâ€™s virtually impossible to terminate a pregnancy in NYS. NYâ€™s law was written before Roe v. Wade and doesnâ€™t provide the full constitutional protection guaranteed by Roe. If a womanâ€™s health is at risk or something goes wrong in her pregnancy after 24 weeks, she must seek care outside of NY because our state law doesnâ€™t allow a doctor to perform an abortion.
How Do We Fix This? We MUST elect a pro-choice majority in the NYS Senate in 2016. Right now, the NYS Senate has an ANTI-choice majority. That must change.
With your help, we can do that. WCLA â€“ PAC, WCLA â€“ Choice Matters, and our bright yellow ProChoice Voting Guide are a mighty force and can make the difference â€“ but we cannot do it without you.
In the last statewide elections, in 2014, when an estimated four billion dollars was spent nationally on campaigns, we managed to take our meager funds and change elections. We made tens of thousands of phone calls to our database, got over 54,000 copies of our yellow ProChoice Voting Guide into mailboxes reaching over 85,000 pro-choice voters, and emailed (more than some of you liked). And we got out the vote! As a result, 95% of our candidates were elected. Our pro-choice actions dramatically impacted Election Day outcomes here in New York State.
Our work is not limited to election time, and canâ€™t be â€“ especially now when so much is at stake. We work all year long – advocating, organizing, reviewing proposed legislation, making sure we have input in policies and programs â€“while every week we are calling new voters to identify whether they are pro-choice and can be added to our database. Weâ€™re on the frontlines.
Unfortunately, this all costs money. Your support today is essential to our ability to function.
We are now in the fight of our lives. Extremists in Congress and in our state governments, including in Albany, are committed to rolling back womenâ€™s rights, defunding Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe.
Consider making a contribution in someoneâ€™s name, as a holiday gift, or in memory of a pro-choice loved one.
Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take.