Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization
We are deeply troubled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. While this outcome is not unexpected, it does not change the concerns we expressed when the draft opinion was leaked in May.
The Court’s opinion in Dobbs eviscerates a long held constitutional right to abortion. In so doing, it runs counter to the Court’s history of expanding civil rights and civil liberties. As we discussed in our message in May, this regressive decision has tremendous consequences for all of us who rely on safe and legal abortions to plan and control our lives. This ruling will have an enormous impact on all those who are able to become pregnant and their families. We recognize, however, that it falls most heavily on lower-income women of color, trans men, non-binary people, and those living at the intersection of these marginalized identities. In these scary and uncertain times, and as many states move to limit or ban abortion, we reaffirm our support of both reproductive freedoms, including abortion, and of all individuals seeking to exercise them.
It is equally important to note that the Court’s opinion and Justice Thomas’s concurrence contradict nearly fifty years of precedent and cast a shadow over many other hard-won rights. Building on the right to privacy and bodily autonomy established in Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade provided the foundation for Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges – all three of which are directly implicated by the Dobbs decision. The right to love who we love and to act on that love, either through intimate relations or marriage, and the right to determine when to start a family are fundamental human rights. While we hope the Supreme Court does not move against these rights, we remain steadfast in our solidarity with those most impacted by such a decision including our LGBTQIA+ communities and BIPOC communities.
As students, future lawyers, and change-makers, we stand in a position of tremendous privilege to advocate for equity. Through our law degree, we wield the power to champion everyone's right to determine their health, life path, and family structure. We also bear the responsibility to educate ourselves and others about the impact of this striking departure from precedent. There are myriad opportunities for advocacy on abortion and related issues on all levels. For example, the current BC health insurance plan does not cover elective abortions. We encourage our community to take action by using our voices on the local and national level through protesting, making charitable donations to abortion clinics, legal advocacy, attending events to help improve awareness about your rights and others’, and lending support to other advocates.
Yours in solidarity,
American Constitution Society (ACS)
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
Boston College Law Democrats
Disability Law Student Association (DLSA)
Health Law Society
Holocaust/Human Rights Project (HHRP)
If/When/How: Law Students for Reproductive Justice
Immigration Law Group (ILG)
International Law Society
Lambda Law Student Association
Latin American Law Student Student Association (LALSA)
Law Student Association (LSA)
Middle Eastern Law Student Association (MELSA)
Native American Law Student Association (NALSA)
South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA)
Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)
Women’s Law Center (WLC)
We, the undersigned faculty and staff members of Boston College Law School, support the above statement and join the above student organizations in condemning the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Avi Bauer, Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication Librarian
Joan Blum, Associate Professor of the Practice
Cheryl Bratt, Associate Professor of the Practice
Karen Breda, Legal Information Librarian & Lecturer
Mark Brodin, Professor
Dorothy Commons, Senior Advisor in Career Services Office
Laurel Davis, Legal Information Librarian & Lecturer in Law
Claire Donohue, Assistant Clinical Professor
Michelle Grossfield, Public Interest & Pro Bono Program Director
Hiba Hafiz, Assistant Professor of Law
Ingrid Hillinger, Professor
Mary Holper, Professor
Dean Hashimoto, Professor of Law
Reena Parikh, Assistant Clinical Professor
Sandy Tarrant, Associate Clinical Professor
Paul Tremblay, Clinical Professor