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Published on June 24, 2022
(Washington, D.C.) — Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established a constitutional right to abortion in America. African American mayors across the country are outraged by the decision.
There is no federal law protecting abortion. This Supreme Court decision will open the door for state legislatures eager to criminalize abortion, and half of the states in the U.S. are expected to implement laws that severely restrict or ban abortion. African Americans and people of color already experience the most barriers to care as a result of current abortion restrictions. These communities will be among those hardest hit due to access.
Mayor Frank Scott, Jr (Little Rock, AR), president of the African American Mayors Association, said “In the strongest way possible, I condemn today’s SCOTUS opinion that strips women’s constitutional rights to make decisions about their bodies. This was settled law in our country for half a century, and today’s ruling mistakenly leaves the question of access to abortion up to individual states, of which 13 have trigger laws to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade was overturned. There are issues that should not be left to individual states to decide. A woman’s right to privacy about her reproductive health should be the law of the land in every state in this country.”
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard (Mount Vernon, NY), vice president of AAMA said, “The Supreme Court’s decision undermines American women's fundamental right to make their own decisions about their bodies and families. The burden and the harms of restrictions to abortion access falls disproportionately on Black communities, who face injustices and inequities like higher rates of poverty and racism in the health care system. America cannot just be pro life in utero. We must demonstrate this same commitment to ensure that resources are provided and readily available throughout their lifetime so that they can be properly educated, housed, fed and clothed. AAMA will continue to fight to ensure that women’s rights are protected and respected at the state and local level. ”
The African American Mayors Association (AAMA) is the only organization exclusively representing over 500 African-American mayors across the United States. AAMA seeks to empower local leaders for the benefit of their citizens. The role of the AAMA includes taking positions on public policies that impact the vitality and sustainability of cities; providing mayors with leadership and management tools; and creating a forum for member mayors to share best practices related to municipal management.