We are deeply disappointed in the SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade restricting access to healthcare and deepening the socioeconomic and health divides already prevalent in Santa Barbara and across our country. Girls will continue to feel the effects of this decision on their futures, limiting their human rights, their freedoms, their privacies, and their opportunities to grow up healthy, educated, and independent.
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara (GIGSB) is committed to empowering girls to advocate for themselves and speaks on their behalf in our community as we strive towards a more equitable society where girls have freedom and personal responsibility – particularly when it comes to choices regarding their health and well-being.
We believe that every girl is STRONG. They are in charge of their health, and possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles. The recent Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling overturning Roe v. Wade – the 1973 lawsuit which led to the SCOTUS decision establishing that women have a constitutional right to privacy in their reproductive medical decisions – has denied girls in our community and beyond the right to be STRONG by taking away privacy and autonomy in their healthcare.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, enabling girls to make informed and autonomous decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health is critical for fulfilling their human rights and ensuring access to education, economic opportunities, social empowerment, and financial independence. The SCOTUS decision denies girls these rights.
Everyone should have privacy and autonomy in their healthcare decisions – including adolescents. As we support our girls and work through the repercussions of the SCOTUS ruling on their futures, we commit – now more than ever – to be a beacon of social change for every girl who will continue to feel the effects of this decision for years to come.
In fulfilling our mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, we will continue to provide a safe space for girls to develop their strengths and voices, take risks, and navigate the gender, economic, and social barriers that place limits on their potential. Our girls are now at risk, and the basis for what we teach and advocate on behalf of at GIGSB is threatened.
GIGSB is committed to providing the platform and tools our girls need to advocate for themselves and their peers. We will provide ongoing opportunities for our girls to ask questions and train our staff on how to answer those questions so that GIGSB can continue to educate on the topics that affect girls’ futures.
We recognize that the family is the primary source of information about these issues, and we will continue to help girls and young women communicate with their families about sexuality. In the coming weeks and months, GIGSB will also be developing educational opportunities related to the SCOTUS decision so that our girls, their families, and the community can realize the implications of the ruling and discover opportunities to push for social change.
In Santa Barbara, we are proud to be a Girls Inc. affiliate where we can break down barriers, amplify girls’ voices, and strive toward an equitable society where all girls can grow up strong, smart, and bold.
– Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara
Learn more about Girls Inc.’s advocacy platform, including our commitment to Sexual Health, Safety, and Autonomy.
As we support our girls and work through the repercussions of the SCOTUS ruling on their futures, we commit – now more than ever – to be a beacon of social change for every girl who will continue to feel the effects of this decision for years to come.