How to Talk About the Leak & the Purported SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade
As you have no doubt heard by now, a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade and roll back the Constitutional precedent that guarantees a woman’s right to choose has been leaked to the media. Upon initial analysis, if this draft becomes the official majority opinion, it could have alarming impacts well beyond abortion rights.
We must use this moment to pronounce a vision of what full rights look like for all of us, for our children, and for generations to come, while at the same time repudiating this leaked decision. We must uplift the need to protect hard-fought, historic gains in promoting and preserving opportunity, and we must remain both vigilant and strategic in pushing back against legal decisions and legislative policies that undermine these gains.
The Opportunity Agenda believes that this starts with stories, with what we say, and how we say it.
Some Quick, General Tips
1. Remember that this is NOT the SCOTUS decision. It is a draft document – what could be a preview of what a Supreme Court decision might look like.
The draft opinion has no legal effect right now. Women’s, family planning, and abortion clinics are still operating. Don’t spend time discussing this as settled law, because it isn’t and may confuse people who are still struggling to access reproductive care in their communities.
Avoid communicating as though what’s done is done, because it isn’t.
2. If this becomes the Court’s final decision, its impact could extend far beyond the right to access abortions.
The language in the draft opinion suggests that it would pave the way for eliminating a range of rights that most Americans have come to take for granted. It suggests that only those rights from the time of this country’s founding should be protected, thus opening the door for states to criminalize access to contraception, interracial relationships, same-sex marriage and sexual relationships, and parents’ right to educate their children as they see fit. The opinion might even open the door to question the continued relevance of cases like Brown v. Board Education, which held that legalized racial segregation was unconstitutional.
Communicate the potential reach of this draft opinion and its profound consequences, should it be handed down.
3. Pivot to solutions and action.
Despite the anxiety generated by this draft opinion, remember to pivot to solutions. Now is the time to recognize the power of voices coming together. Encourage audiences to take action, whether that’s demanding passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act or the Equal Rights Amendment, demonstrating outside the Supreme Court or at state courts and capitol buildings, or taking to the streets and the voting booth in order to convey and protect our values.
There is much we can do in this moment, and we have a duty to do it right now.
4. Uplift these values
Pragmatism, Common Sense, Innovation, Determination to Do The Right Thing, Shared Responsibility to Fix Flawed Policies, Solidarity, Full Inclusion.
P.S. Click here or here or to find a list of local and state-wide abortion access organizations to support, and here for resources and tools to take action on abortion access as well as an “Adopt-A-Clinic” Program.