Today’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision has dealt a severe blow to women rights across the United States. “The overturning of Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion that has been in place since 1973, is extremely disconcerting,” stated Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory.
While many states across the nation will face protracted political battles as a result of this ruling, the Virgin Islands have laws in place. Pursuant to Title 14, Chapter 5, abortions are legal in the territory consistent with the tenets of the original Roe v. Wade ruling. This law was enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands in 1973. It is important for the public to understand that abortions in the Virgin Islands are and remain legal. “Women in the U.S. Virgin Islands can be assured that they continue to have the right to choose,” said Frett-Gregory.
This decision has far reaching effects and it will potentially harm individuals whose access to healthcare continues to be a challenge. It will disproportionately impact minority and disenfranchised communities. It also highlights the importance of participating in elections. “As a woman, and an elected official, today’s ruling causes me to pause and wonder what next, Voting Rights Act? Affirmative Action? And it reminds me that although we have made significant strides this is a step backward for Americans and women in particular,” concluded Frett-Gregory.