Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned longstanding precedent Roe v. Wade, allowing individual states to ban abortions. It was a devastating decision that many Americans had feared.
“Most people who seek access to abortion care are already parents, so they’re worried about how to take care of their families and how to ensure that they have what they need to afford for their own self determination,” Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson said in an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Speaking to Late Night writers Amber Ruffin, Jenny Hagel, and Ally Hord, Johnson discussed the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling, noting that up to 36 million people could be affected by Roe v. Wade being struck down. Johnson also explained how this ruling could have a dangerous impact beyond reproductive rights.
“It is really about control over our own bodies,” said Johnson. “When you look at the way the law, the opinions are written, there are also kind of indications that there are other opportunities to go after things like marriage equality, like interracial marriage, like access to contraception, all of which has enjoyed federal protections as well — constitutional protections.”
Johnson also listed several ways people can help in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned, from supporting local Planned Parenthood and independent clinics, to donating to Keep Our Clinics and the National Network of Abortion Funds, to sharing your own stories under the hashtags #BansOffOurBodies and #WhateverTheReason.
“We are here because we have stigmatised a very normal procedure,” said Johnson. “One that one in four women in their life will have… And the fact that we have stigmatised, the fact that we don’t talk about [abortions], means that people can make policies that codify our inequality. And if we want to stay free, we have to talk about our freedom and we have to ensure that people understand what is critically important here.”