Press Release: SCOTUS Rulings 'Directly Contradictory to the Principles of Racial and Reproductive Justice'

Demonstrators gather at Dulles International Airport to welcome travelers as the Trump Administration launched attacks on Muslim immigrants and refugees.
Demonstrators gather at Dulles International Airport to welcome travelers as the Trump Administration launched attacks on Muslim immigrants and refugees. [Image via Geoff Livingston/Flickr/Creative Commons]
(Washington, D.C.) — The Supreme Court handed down two rulings on Tuesday morning that, on the surface, deal with very different issues – immigration (Trump v. Hawaii) and anti-abortion extremism (Nifla v. Becerra) – but which in fact signal the disturbing extent to which the Trump Administration, Trump’s SCOTUS appointee Neil Gorsuch, and other supporters and allies have succeeded in putting their racist, misogynist, and xenophobic beliefs into law.

“As a first generation Iranian American and reproductive justice advocate, I find today’s Supreme Court decisions particularly shameful,” said Kimya Forouzan, Law & Public Policy Scholar at Temple University and Vice President of If/When/How’s Board of Directors. “These decisions set dangerous precedents. The rulings are in favor of policies and practices that are racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic. They will only serve to strengthen the oppressive structures that have long existed in the United States.”

She went on: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Trump v. Hawaii is a disappointing validation of President Trump’s consistently xenophobic and racist rhetoric and policies. Trump’s Muslim ban separates family members from each other, strips individuals of their dignity by treating them as second-class citizens, and advances the ugly and false stereotype that people from the affected nations are inherently dangerous. It is directly contradictory to the principles of reproductive and racial justice.”

Kimya Forouzan, Vice President of If/When/How's Board of Directors
Kimya Forouzan, Vice President of If/When/How’s Board of Directors

The Nifla ruling empowers ideologically driven, intentionally deceptive religious organizations to hide the availability of affordable abortion care from pregnant people seeking to learn about their options, while the travel ban ruling amounts to a license to discriminate against Muslims worldwide, and to further separate Muslim Americans from their families abroad. Together, these rulings will affect the safety, security, and health of families for years to come, disproportionately limiting the ability of people of color, immigrants, and low-income folks to decide if, when, and how to create and sustain their families.

“The Trump v. Hawaii ruling forces us to confront the very real possibility that, if this ban is to continue under future presidents, we may be the last diaspora groups from the affected nations in the United States,” said Forouzan. “My community, and the other affected communities, have fought to keep our culture alive in the United States and have given so much to this nation. This decision co-signs the sentiment that people of color are to be treated as ‘less than.’”

If/When/How is a national nonprofit network of lawyers and law students who know that ensuring all people can decide if, when, and how to create and sustain families depends entirely on if, when, and how hard we fight. Home to a nationwide fellowship program that has launched the careers of nearly 70 lawyers working for reproductive and social justice, If/When/How also has chapters at nearly 100 law schools across the country. Our Oakland headquarters offers resources and toolkits at the intersections of reproductive and racial justice, queer justice, and other social issues for law students and lawyers who want to leverage their skills and passion to make reproductive justice a reality.