In his concurrence, Justice Clarence Thomas telegraphed what those in the movement already knew: the Supreme Court will not just stop at overturning Roe v. Wade. They are going to come after every legally settled right and precedent previously set by the Supreme Court that protects marginalized Americans. They will take away the right to access contraception. They will take away the right to protections from workplace harassment for LGBTQ+ Americans and the right to gay marriage.
To fight back we must avoid the mountains of recrimination in the days that will seek to blame one constituency, condition, or individual for this moment. To see the scale of this threat clearly—and to meet it with a single unified movement for intersectional justice and equity—we must understand that this is the outcome of a sustained ideological initiative on the right to unravel core democratic freedoms—racial equity, gender justice, and individual liberty—all in one intellectual, judicial, and political revolution.
Every time we have collectively failed to see how the fabric of our collective existence is tied to the protections of our freedoms has been a moment that has contributed to this profound loss. The reality is that this attack on our body politic has metastasized over a generation, leading to the current state of minority tyranny of the will of the majority of voters. The upshot is that this undemocratic, unelected body has aligned itself with a radical right agenda that is driving us to the brink of autocracy.
No unelected body should have the power to strip people of their human right to autonomy, especially an institution as plagued by controversy, illegitimacy, and naked partisanship as the United States Supreme Court. When we demand bodily autonomy, we do not just mean over our reproductive organs—we mean autonomy from the violence of the state and extrajudicial killings by the police; we mean autonomy over our gender and our sexual experiences; we mean autonomy over our families and the right to raise our children in safe and supported communities.
We at AAPF strongly believe that the post-slavery amendments to our Constitution gave us the guiding principles to achieve our aspirations for a multiracial society, free from the illiberties, coercion, and violence that characterized our first founding. It is the vision of these, the second founders—the men and women who fought for freedom and who loosened the grip of enslavement and tyranny—that must guide us in the coming years.
The struggle ahead of us will be one of the most difficult we have faced as a nation. We are committed to this fight, and we hope you will be there with us.