Today is a dark day for people in Arkansas and all across the nation. By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has taken the unprecedented step of ripping away a constitutional right that had been previously guaranteed to all Americans and that formed the basis for a fundamental right to privacy that so many of our civil liberties now rest on.
Arkansas is a state with a so-called “trigger law”, which means that abortions in this state are now banned, without exceptions for even rape or incest. People will die, and many more will be condemned to poverty and will have their lives and futures destroyed because of the reactionary and callous agenda of Republicans in our state legislature and in the Supreme Court. We know that this is going to fall especially hard on those already marginalized: poor people, disabled people, queer people, people of color, and we stand in full solidarity with them today. This is the result of a decades-long scheme to strip people of their basic bodily autonomy, and it will require us to mobilize with an equally concerted and organized effort to expand human rights to all people in the state of Arkansas.
What we cannot do is fall into despair. We have to respond loudly, and we have to come together so that none of us have to face this assault on our rights alone. There are at least two protests being held today, one in Fayetteville, and another in Little Rock, and we are sure there will be more to come in the days ahead. We have to call on our governor to demand that we at least exemptions to our law for those that are victims of rape or incest. We also have to assist pregnant people who do not have the resources to seek care on their own by donating to abortion funds such as the Arkansas Abortion Support Network, which will continue to connect people with abortion care they need, no matter what.
We strongly suspect that this will be only the beginning of a broader assault on all of our own human rights, as Justice Thomas has already laid out in his opinion. We must elect pro-choice representatives on all levels of government that we fight for the right to abortions, in every single election. We must break the Republican supermajority in the Republican legislature, and we must prevent extremists such as Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Leslie Rutledge from deciding what rights we have to our own bodies. If you have not already registered to vote, you have 108 days to do so before the 2022 election. The right to an abortion is on the ballot this November.
We will stand together to defend each other’s rights, and we will work towards a world where we will all be more free.
The Young Democrats of Arkansas