Abortion is both an essential part of health care and a basic human right. Access to abortion care facilitates people's freedom, autonomy, dignity and ability to make decisions about their bodies, their lives and their futures. It also enables people to care for themselves and their families, to be economically secure, and to fully participate in American society. In short, abortion is fundamental to women's equality and to people's ability to live their lives to their fullest potential.

Despite its importance, abortion access has never been guaranteed. Roe v. Wade provided an essential, if not aspirational foundation – securing access to abortion as a constitutionally protected legal right rooted in the right to privacy – but even that never ensured meaningful access, especially for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as people from other historically marginalized communities. And now, with the protections of Roe gone, we are in the midst of the biggest crisis in abortion access in a generation.

The Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is a monumental step backwards in the movement not only for abortion access but for women's equality. As lawmakers at state and federal levels continue their onslaught of attacks against abortion rights, we are working to protect and expand reproductive care, and to lift up the ways abortion access is, more than ever, closely interconnected with economic security, maternal health, and health equity.

The landscape is difficult, and the challenges are dire – but this is also a time full of potential and opportunity, as people and institutions awaken to the harms of denying abortion rights. That's why we at the National Partnership are working every day to advocate for the policy changes needed to meet this moment – to both hold as much ground as possible and pursue the bold, proactive vision of a future where everyone has access to abortion care.

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