HumanistsMN condemns the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned the significant degree of bodily autonomy that Roe v. Wade had granted for nearly 50 years — the right to have an abortion before a fetus would be viable outside the womb. The 6-to-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is expected to lead to abortion bans or severe restrictions in about half of U.S. states.
HumanistsMN believes in a world where everyone has the same opportunities to thrive. This decision minimizes the high degree of health risk that people can face during pregnancy, labor, and after a birth. “Bodily autonomy and self-determination are deeply rooted humanist values that are critical for realizing an inclusive, pluralistic, and flourishing society,” says the American Humanist Association.
Dobbs v. Jackson found that the Constitution does not expressly or implicitly protect the right to choose abortion, saying “it makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”
In addition to taking away this significant right, the decision raises concerns about how this strict-interpretation Court might rule in any challenges to other landmark cases that granted constitutional protection to human rights, for example same-sex marriage or interracial marriage. As the dissenting justices noted: “All rights that have no history stretching back to the mid-19th century are insecure.”
Secular Americans are a growing demographic. A 2021 Pew Research Study revealed that 29 percent of Americans now identify as “nones,” people with no religious affiliation. That percentage is up 6 percentage points from five years ago.
As AHA Executive Director Nadya Dutchin states: “The right to abortion access has long been a culture-war issue utilized by radical evangelical and White Christian Nationalist movements to control women and undermine the well-being of our society.” We cannot sit idly by while precedent and our own founding documents are ignored to favor the views of one religious group over those who believe differently or not at all.
Contact your state and federal elected officials and let them know we are out here and we vote. If able, please consider donating time and/or money to abortion rights’ and abortion funds organizations, including UnrestrictMN coalition, Minnesota-based OurJustice and National Network of Abortion Funds.
See the related HumanistsMN statement on recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that erode the wall between religion and government.