Today, American Bridge 21st Century co-chair Cecile Richards penned an open letter to women commemorating the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg fought to protect and expand women’s equality and reproductive rights throughout her tenure on the Supreme Court. In less than a year since her death, the Republican-led legislature in Texas– with the help of a Republican-controlled Supreme Court — have passed legislation that targets women for exercising their constitutional right to access an abortion and Republicans around the country are implementing similar draconian bans on reproductive rights.
Republican politicians made it nearly impossible for women to get an abortion in the state of Texas and Republicans on the Supreme Court effectively ended Roe v. Wade with their 5-4 midnight decision.
Read excerpts from Cecile’s open letter in Cosmopolitan:
Like everybody else during this era of COVID-19, I was at home when I found out Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died. In the back of my mind, I knew losing her was a possibility, of course, but there was a part of me that also assumed she was immortal. She was just superhuman, so her death was both stunning and gut-wrenching. Simply put, I wasn’t prepared.
The news of her passing had barely been heard around the world when Republicans immediately started conniving to jam through a Supreme Court justice nominee less than two months before a very contentious presidential election. I naively assumed the Republicans wouldn’t use their raw political power to assert leverage on the one institution that we’ve always believed to be above partisanship: our judiciary. But it was very clear that tipping the Supreme Court in their favor was all they were thinking about. Watching this unfold over weeks after RBG’s death was deeply dismaying.
In less than a decade, we have seen the Supreme Court shift to the conspicuously conservative, and their latest decision to refuse to take action on the horrific six-week abortion ban enacted in Texas was stunning. The hyper-partisanship on today’s Court is reprehensible. Even after Justice Ginsburg passed, I never imagined that we could lose so much so quickly.
I know that folks across the country are scared. But this is not the time to be afraid. This is a time to be louder and prouder than ever before. And what gives me hope is the younger generations—your generation. You are the most educated, most socially active, most progressive generation we’ve ever had. Women are the majority of voters. Women can determine the future. Young people can determine the future.
We can send a signal, in both the voting booth and the streets, that where we’re headed is not where this country is going to go.
The Texas Abortion Ban will prohibit abortions as early as six weeks – before many women even know they are pregnant – and rewards any member of the public who successfully sues anyone involved in assisting a person getting an abortion, including friends, neighbors, medical providers, and even Uber drivers.
This law is one more reminder of why it is crucial that Democrats turn out the women who delivered victories for the party in 2018 and 2020. This diverse group of women will decide who controls Congress and local legislatures across the country. Ahead of the 2022 midterms, American Bridge 21st Century is focused on communicating to and activating these key voters early and consistently so we can elect leaders who will support and protect essential health care services like abortion.
Read the full open letter here.