Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, ending a nearly 50-year precedent of the right to abortion and reproductive autonomy. At NAMI Mass, we uphold bodily autonomy, reproductive autonomy, and privacy as fundamental human rights.
We know that people with mental health conditions can be more vulnerable to discrimination and violations of their human rights in our current systems. The overturning of Roe intensifies these probable violations by impacting a person’s human rights to bodily autonomy, reproductive freedom, and privacy. In order to address human rights violations, it is of the utmost importance that people living with a mental health condition are given the opportunity to exercise human rights, including the right to make complex and multi-layered personal decisions about their own healthcare.
At NAMI Mass, we view a person’s mental health as synonymous with their overall health. We know people with mental health conditions already experience multiple barriers to accessing healthcare. In an already inaccessible healthcare system, the overturning of Roe is just another barrier placed on people, especially those living with a mental health condition, a disability, or as part of a marginalized community.
We believe the mental health impacts of the loss of reproductive rights intersects directly with social justice initiatives, including environmental, racial, sexual, and gender justice. We recognize that people’s intersectional and social identities influence their experience with mental health and that the overturning of Roe will impact communities differently. However, human rights violations are often associated with adverse mental health outcomes and the psychological impact of the loss of reproductive rights could lead to increased levels of depression, anxiety, trauma, and other stressor-related conditions. As we’ve already seen, many communities are experiencing heightened levels of fear and anger in the wake of human rights being taken away.
We stand in solidarity with all people impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. NAMI Mass opposes the unjust and harmful actions of the Supreme Court and is committed to fighting for bodily autonomy of all people. We urge our leaders to act swiftly to protect these important rights.
Download the response (pdf).