Monday night’s leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion essentially overturning Roe v. Wade has been overwhelming news, to say the least. Reproductive justice advocates have mobilized, organizing protests and fundraising efforts to support organizations in states that have so-called “trigger laws” meaning that, were such a ruling to go into effect, 13 states would immediately see abortion bans on the books. This includes the state I live in, Louisiana, which also happens to have a terrible track record when it comes to both reproductive justice and environmental justice. Led by a pro-life Democratic governor, Louisiana readily gave up the abortion fight in 2020 when voters moved to pass an amendment that added this language to the state declaration of rights: “Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Between now and then, major natural disasters have occurred, studies have revealed the damning costs of continuing to allow polluters to harm some of the state’s most vulnerable communities, and people have suffered because of lack of access to much-needed reproductive health care services — among many, many consequences from a warming planet and reproductive rights restrictions. Louisiana is just the canary in the coal mine of what’s to come were an expected June ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization consistent with Alito’s draft opinion. The case that made its way to the highest court in the land comes from the neighboring state of Mississippi — yet another state with a trigger law on the books. And, unsurprisingly, Mississippi is a state with blatant environmental justice issues that span generations and still affect residents today.