The Women and Gender Studies Program and Center at George Mason University is profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court’s most recent decision overturning Roe Vs. Wade which is antithetical to our mission and values. We remain committed to defending women’s reproductive rights as well as every person’s rights over their bodies. Reversing access to abortion deprives countless women of the ability to achieve reproductive freedom and equity, and strips them of essential rights they have availed for decades. The rollback also threatens to pave the way for other regressive measures that could disproportionately impact low income women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and marginalized communities.
In the 1970s, Roe Vs. Wade was certainly seen as a watershed moment in women’s liberation. For many, it felt as the beginning of an upward tick in equity for women. However, as we have witnessed over the decades, women have continued to fight for access to equal pay, safe workplaces and homes, access to contraception, and many other fundamental issues.
Access to abortion is an intersectional issue that affects women with varying marginalized identities, transwomen, and genders outside of the binary. Women of color and economically disadvantaged women continue to fight for access to equitable health care while transwomen of color continue to be the most targeted for violence. Now, access to abortion will be a bigger barrier for these groups.
We believe that all people deserve the right to have control over reproduction regardless of cause, context, or culture. We also believe that abortion is not simply a matter of reproduction, but also is a basic health care concern for anyone with the ability to reproduce. Restricting reproductive rights impinges on fundamental social, economic and racial freedoms.We stand with other feminist activists in our collective struggle for gender equity and we view this decision as a tremendous setback that seeks to halt the progress that feminists have made across the centuries. We will continue to support our students, faculty, and staff who need access to these resources. And we will continue to fight for a world that fully values women and people of all marginalized identities.
We stand in solidarity with our Mason community and people who feel adjacent to us as we navigate a world that is evolving and one where work towards equality and freedom for all calls for more feminist and intersectional approaches.