The National LGBTQ+ Bar Association and Foundation strongly condemn the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and reaffirms our strong support for the right to abortion. This decision overturning Roe and Casey is outrageous, and has already resulted in immediate and ongoing harm to people who need to access abortion. Moreover, as Justice Thomas’s concurrence and the powerful dissent by Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor make clear, the majority opinion paves the way for the revocation of the Constitutional rights to marriage equality, contraception for both married and unmarried partners, and even our community’s right to engage in consensual sexual activity.
We refuse to give up in this fight. Freedom to end a pregnancy, to access contraception, to access gender-affirming care, and freedom from discrimination based on sex, are essential to all people’s — including all LGBTQ+ people’s — health, dignity and autonomy. Moreover, the harms done by this and future resulting cases will most disproportionately affect those with less political power and fewer financial resources, including, disproportionately, transgender and nonbinary people, low-income people, and people of color. All of us who have the access and power to do so must fight back. To that end, the National LGBTQ+ Bar calls on policymakers in all branches and at all levels of government to use every mechanism at their disposal to ensure that abortion care remains not only legal, but also available and accessible to all who need it, including those from other jurisdictions, and to also work to enshrine the rights to personal privacy and marriage equality into the law statutorily and in state Constitutions. It is time for every public official who believes in true personal freedom and equality to use their power to work toward reproductive justice and privacy and dignity rights for all. We encourage our members to contact your elected officials to express support for enshrining abortion rights, marriage rights, and the fundamental right to privacy into law.
The National LGBTQ+ Bar supports our community members’ rights to access abortion, and recognizes that many abortion providers also provide culturally competent care to members of our community. The Bar is proud to have joined 22 other LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations in an amicus brief for the Dobbs case written last September by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Morrison & Foerster in support of Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In January 2022, we joined other LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations in urging the U.S. Senate to bring to the floor and pass S. 1975, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA). On June 2, 2022, the Bar signed onto a letter to policymakers written by NCLR expressing our support for abortion rights.
We are heartened by the numerous states, municipalities, and legal organizations, including law firms, which have already started building resources to ensure safe havens, legal representation, and financial support for people seeking abortion services. We are compiling those resources and putting them on our website; we encourage you to put your time, energy, and money where you can.
We wish to remind all our members to use inclusive language when discussing the need for abortion healthcare, and encourage reading and following these guidelines developed by the Transgender Law Center and Arc Southeast.
The Bar encourages our members who share our concern about the Dobbs decision and its impact both on the reproductive rights of our community and others as well as its likely future impact on LGBTQ+ equality to plan to attend the Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair in July. Three programs will address this case directly:
- Our plenary session discussing the renewed importance of state constitutions and Supreme Courts;
- Our workshop about the future implications of Dobbs on LGBTQ+ equality and reproductive rights; and
- Our workshop addressing gender-affirming reproductive health care.
Many others will also touch upon Dobbs, as well as what next term is expected to bring from the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the wake of this devastating news, we encourage our members to join us, in community, in having hope and continuing to fight for a better, more just future. We stand strong, and will not cede our rights to theocracy.