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NNEDV Responds to Leaked SCOTUS Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade

May 3, 2022

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is gravely concerned by last night’s leak of a draft majority opinion indicating that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks in their upcoming decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  

Roe ensures the right to have an abortion and allows people to control their own reproductive destiny. Domestic violence survivors—and all people—deserve access to a full spectrum of accessible and affordable reproductive healthcare, including abortion.

Domestic violence is about power and control, and many abusers choose to weaponize a partner’s bodily autonomy and reproductive choices as tools of violence. Preventing a partner from having an abortion is abuse, and forcing a partner to stay pregnant is, unfortunately, an effective way of keeping them dependent and trapped in the relationship itself. When survivors are able to choose for themselves whether to continue pregnancies, it can mean they are safely able to leave abusers and create new lives for themselves.

Roe has enshrined the fundamental right to privacy in our Constitution for nearly 50 years. Overturning Roe would deny the bodily autonomy of millions, erode the right to privacy for all people, and further harm survivors in need. Removing this agency is unacceptable and such a decision would be particularly devastating for low-income survivors, survivors of color, survivors with disabilities, and others who already face substantial barriers to accessing the healthcare they need,” said Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President & CEO. “Such a decision will serve to retraumatize pregnant domestic violence survivors, who may further suffer, and even die, at the hands of an abuser if they cannot access the abortion that would help them escape.”

All people, including domestic violence survivors, deserve full control over their lives and choices, including the ability to safely and freely choose whether or not to become, or stay, pregnant. We hope this decision is not final and that the Supreme Court will reconsider overturning this settled law. NNEDV also urges Congress to codify the right to choose and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act immediately. Survivors’ lives depend on it.

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