Dr. Aleese Moore-Orbih’s statement on Roe v. Wade
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Attention Please – Cisgender and Transgender women, genderqueer, gender-variant and non-binary individuals, and trans men and Allies:
Today I am not going to talk about access to safe abortions. I am not going to spend time on intended racial and economic inequity the reversal of Roe V. Wade would cause. Today I want to talk about the greatest risk and the real purpose for overturning Roe v. Wade. Striking down Roe v. Wade is not just about removing reproductive rights; it is about removing the human rights of ALL Cis and Trans Women, gender queer, gender-variant and non-binary individuals; the rights to privacy and liberty.
The leaked opinion is a call to domestic and sexual violence, reproductive justice, and trafficking advocates to return to the foundation of our original purpose, women’s rights. This is a call to ALL women and allies to stand and fight for the rights of ALL women. Although abortion is not an accessibility concern for ALL women, the right of autonomy and agency to protect our bodies is.
Over the years we, the gender-based violence field, has evolved. Our movement has been influenced by Feminist and Womanist perspectives to include other vulnerable populations and address the intersectionality of gender-based violence —and rightly so. But in our quest to expand and deepen our work, many shifted priorities away from codifying the rights of women based in gender equity. Many forgot, and some never knew, the Equal Rights Amendment written in 1923, passed by the Senate in 1972, but never ratified or added to the constitution. We took our eyes off the fact the Roe v. Wade was “settled” but not codified and too few of us knew of or supported the Women’s Health Protection Act. We were, one could say, asleep at the wheel or just too assured of a right we had for 50 years.
Roe v. Wade has been standing on the equitable interpretation and application of the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 14th amendments. If the interpretation of the 9th and 14th amendments are extracted from the foundation of Roe v. Wade, all the rights, privacy, and liberty for women, Black, Indigenous and Native, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ people, which are supported by these amendments, will be at risk. We cannot let this happen.
No one is free in this country unless women are free. It’s been women who have spearheaded social justice change, women in the hood and Native women who have fought for justice, access and safety for their children, it’s been lesbian and transwomen that lead LGBTQ rights, Women CEOs who’ve broken glass ceilings, women in politics who have fought for equality for all, women in the ivory towers of academia who’ve developed inclusive cultural studies, it’s been women leading environmental protections and animal protections, and women protesting unfair immigration laws and standing at our borders. If ALL women are not free, we cannot advocate and support others. ALL women’s rights have always been and remains the pathway to liberation for everyone else.
The gender-based violence movement is being called to rise again as champions of the Women’s Movement for gender equity and fight for the rights of ALL women and girls to have access to those inalienable rights inherent to us at birth.
The opinion that our privacy and liberty today must be rooted in “this Nations Anglo-American history and tradition” is racist and sexist. Implying that we should legislatively return to a time when women were property and Black and Brown women were regarded at best, as savages, and at worst, as animals and property, is unacceptable in the 21st century. So, let us not be bamboozled into dividing ourselves in this struggle by who is for or against abortion or who has a uterus and who does not, ethnicity, race, religion, or state. We will have to erase the lines between political ideologies, Feminist, New Wave feminist, Womanist, Cis, Trans or Gender expansive. We need solidarity to stop this toxic train from running ahead. We must do this for ourselves, each other, our daughters, granddaughters, sisters, and nieces of future generations.
While California has many protections in place for access to reproductive health care and there are no bans here, there are states who already have and are planning bans. We must not rest in our safety and accessibility in California. Let us fight for women and girls across the country. Remember the original poem by Martin Niemöller, “first they came for… and then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak.”
The Partnership will engage in as many opportunities as possible here and across the country. We invite you to join us.
As immediate actions, we urge you to use your voice and your network to:
- Demand that Congress codify Roe;
- Demand Congress end the filibuster, and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act in the Senate;
- Support the ratification of the ERA;
- Support reproductive programs and movements in California;
- Look for and join national activism and calls to action;
- Give as you can to fundraisers to get women and those who need reproductive healthcare to safe clinics; and
- Refresh or learn more about women’s rights and reproductive justice movements and the shoulders on which you stand in this work.
Aleese Moore-Orbih, D.Min.
Executive Director, The California Partnership
Questions? Please email email@example.com.
About the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence:
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) is California’s recognized domestic violence coalition, representing over 1,000 survivors, advocates, organizations and allied individuals across the state. Working at the local, state, and national levels for nearly 40 years, the Partnership has a long track record of successfully passing over 200 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. The Partnership believes that by collectively working with our diverse membership, advocates, and state policy makers, we can deepen the process of healing and restoration by identifying and addressing the underlying and contributing factors. It is through our shared expertise in creating system-wide change by way of our public policy, prevention, communications, and capacity building programs that we are able to support and invest in survivors and families and endeavor to end domestic violence. Every day we inspire, inform and connect all those concerned with this issue, because we believe that together, we’re stronger. With offices in Sacramento, the Partnership’s member programs span the entire state. For more information, visit cpedv.org.