Honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and continuing the fight for reproductive equity and justice

September 2020

As researchers and advocates for sexual and reproductive equity and justice, we grieve the devastating loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer, champion, legal titan, reproductive rights advocate extraordinaire, and overall force. In the highest court in the United States, she was the voice for gender equality, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, health care, and environmental protections, rigorously applying the law to ensure it upheld human rights and grounding her arguments in sound research evidence. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which social science research from Ibis and our collaborators informed, Justice Ginsburg stated very clearly in her concurrence that medically unnecessary and burdensome regulations to abortion access are unconstitutional and cause harm. In June Medical Services v. Russo, Ginsburg and her colleagues reaffirmed that point, and again ruled that hospital-admission requirements on abortion clinicians were unconstitutional and only made it more difficult for abortion providers to perform safe abortions, with no benefit to people seeking abortion care. She relied on and cited rigorous evidence from clinical and social science research in her judgments. Like all of us, she was imperfect but there is no doubt that in her long career fighting for gender equity and justice she made a positive impact on many people’s lives. 

In the midst of the uncertainty of the months and years ahead, the void left in Justice Ginsberg’s absence and her legacy call us to reaffirm our commitment to advance sexual and reproductive autonomy, choices, and health for all people. Through our rigorous research and principled partnerships we will continue our work to ensure all people have pleasurable, safe, and healthy reproductive lives and can build the families they choose.