BRIDGEPORT – On Friday, after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade and 50 years of legal precedent, ending the constitutional right to abortion, Women Against Mass Incarceration and Bridgeport Generation Now organized a rapid response protest rally. Reported in The Connecticut Post and on WSHU Radio, “protesters expressed anger, sadness, hopefulness and defiance even if no easy solutions could be found in the moment, the only solace being that others stood with them.”

Brandi Johnson, who lives in Bridgeport and is Black, said people reacting to the decision are missing out on something major. Women of color, she said, are going to bear the brunt of the decision.

Women of color need to be protected, she said.

The Connecticut Post, “Bridgeport women react to overturning of Roe v. Wade,” by Eddie Martinez, Josh LaBella, June 24th, 2022

How Did We Get Here?

Abortion rights, reproductive freedom, and reproductive justice have been under attack since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. As Civil Rights leaders and organizers won significant gains in the 1950s and 1960s to expand protections and rights for Black Americans, evangelical Christians who were upset about desegregation began to use anti-abortion as a rallying cry.

Even though access to abortion was supported by Southern Baptist Convention in the early 1970s, by 1979 leaders who were alarmed by the Women’s Movement and Gay Rights Movement saw it as a way to mobilize voters in the 1980 presidential election. The Moral Majority was formed – and cemented anti-abortion as a central issue on the conservative right. And appointing justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade became a key strategy.

What Happens Now?

This decision, which effectively allows states to ban abortion, does not reflect what the majority of Americans want. This decision does not prioritize the health and safety of women and people in our communities. And this decision demonstrates that our democracy is in crisis.

In 20 states, access to abortion was immediately banned or will be banned soon. While we are still protected here in Connecticut, the right to choose now falls on the states – where many leaders are open about their racist, anti-democratic attempts to hold onto power. 

Our democracy is in crisis and we must fight back. It’s time to turn our rage into action! We need to ask ourselves – “what am I willing to do?” Here are actions you can take immediately: