The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is gravely disturbed by the leaked draft of Justice Alito’s United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade. While we recognize that this draft is not a final opinion and we hope that the final ruling upholds Roe v. Wade, hope is insufficient - it is time for action.
Says Ruth M. Glenn, NCADV’s President/CEO, “All human beings should have the right to decide what happens to their body, including such deeply personal matters as whether and when to have a child. A SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade would have a catastrophic impact on a person's ability to control their own bodies, lives and destinies, and being forced to carry a fetus would cause profound harm to victims and survivors of domestic violence both for the duration of the pregnancy and long after.”
Abuse often escalates when a victim becomes pregnant, and pregnancy substantially increases the risk of intimate partner homicide; homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum people. Abusers also often intentionally impregnate victims against their will to keep them trapped in the relationship. Pregnancy, childbirth, and childrearing all impose substantial physical and mental health, economic, and other life consequences, making it that much harder for survivors to leave abusive partners. Moreover, a shared child creates an enduring legal relationship between the abuser and the victim that is nearly impossible to sever.
Such a ruling will also have a disproportionate impact on low-income people, people of color, transgender or non-binary people with uteruses, rural communities, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and others who already struggle to access healthcare. This will increase both economic and social inequalities and perpetuate overall inequity, as some women will be able to travel across the country to terminate pregnancies and others will have no choice but to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
Congress needs to act now to ensure that everyone has access to safe abortions, no matter where they live. This includes passing into law the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (WHPA) or similiar legislation immediately, to ensure abortions remain legal nationwide if the Supreme Court ultimately does overturn Roe v. Wade. NCADV calls on all Members of Congress to vote in favor of WHPA. NCADV also calls on state legislatures to pass similar legislation at the state level to ensure all people who can become pregnant retain the right to an abortion. Finally, NCADV urges the Justices who signed onto Justice Alito’s opinion to reconsider and urges SCOTUS to uphold Roe v. Wade.
 Wallace, M., Gillispie-Bell, V., Cruz, K., Davis, K., & Vilda, D. (2021). Homicide during pregnancy and the postpartum period in the United States, 2018 - 2019. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 138(5), 762-769. doi: 10.1097/AOG.000000000000456
Effective October 6, 2022, The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) have joined together. To learn more about this exciting venture, to expand the eco-system of holistic and inclusive support for survivors and advocates, please visit Project Opal.