Post-Roe: Reproductive freedom now depends on where you live

Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Law professor at UC Irvine, breaks down the basics of what overturning Roe v. Wade means for women across the country and what’s next for reproductive rights.
3:33 | 06/25/22

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Transcript for Post-Roe: Reproductive freedom now depends on where you live
- We are facing a time that symbolically represents where we were during the period of American slavery and Jim Crow, where there were free states and there were states where people were not so free. Roe v Wade was just overturned. I'm Michele Goodwin to help you unpack exactly what this means with laws in the United States going forward, both at the federal level and what this means at the state level. [MUSIC PLAYING] With the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, that means that nationally there are no protections for abortion rights in the United States. And there are 26 states set to ban abortion outright or severely restrict abortion rights. There's been a significant appetite and taste for denying civil liberties and civil rights as related to reproductive health. And so abortion is just simply one stop on a long train ride, one in which the people who have been most invested in dismantling Roe v Wade-- it's not the area in which they are most desirous of stopping. There are legislators in states that have said that not only are they thinking about criminalizing access to IUDs, which is a very popular form of birth control, but also the pill. These are really dark times for the United States. The options are really quite constrained. If you were to ask the question, what do you do during a time of American antebellum slavery or during Jim Crow when laws are so deeply oppressive in your state? But you know that there is hope someplace else, so you have to find a way to be able to get there. You have to have enough money to be able to go out of state, afford a hotel room, afford the child care for your children, and somehow be able to take time off from work without being fired. And for people who have minimal economic means, this means that it is more illusory than real, the possibility of getting to those states. The Biden administration could issue an executive order that protects the reproductive health care of women and girls in this country. Congress can do the important work of enacting the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify Roe v Wade. There's a lot of work that Congress could do just like it did in the 1960s with the '64 Civil Rights Act and the '65 Voting Rights Act. And there's action that the President can take as well. It really reflects the Supreme Court upholding separate but equal laws. It is another version of states being able to enact laws to determine what someone's reproductive life should be. And so I think that anybody smart right now would not take seriously the promises of the Supreme Court that all other privacy protections are safe. This is not just about reproductive health rights and justice. This is about our democracy. [MUSIC PLAYING]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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