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I Knew It Was Coming

By Judy Belk

I knew it was coming, but still as a Black woman who has lived most of my life under the assumption that the right to abortion was settled law, I am stunned, disheartened and enraged. I also lead a health foundation that believes in and invests in a woman’s right to reproductive health and freedom. So yes, I knew it was coming, but today, I am devastated to see that the Supreme Court has overturned 50 years of precedent guaranteeing the constitutional right to an abortion.


We know that within weeks, at least 20 states will likely ban abortion, and women, trans men and non-binary folks will no longer have control over their bodies because they will not have the right to access safe abortion services. Instead, they will be considered criminals and subject to prosecution and imprisonment if they choose to make one of the most important and personal decisions a person can make – choosing when and whether to give birth.  Many of these states that are outlawing abortion are the same states that refuse to invest in maternal health, childcare services and other safety net programs which will support women to make the choices best for themselves and their families.


We will not stand idly by. In the coming months, Cal Wellness will work with our allies in government, community and the philanthropic sector to explore how we can leverage our resources and voice to ensure that Americans can look to California to provide services and support. We know that reproductive justice is intricately tied to social justice and we will strive to fulfill our commitment to advance reproductive rights and justice. 


Woman outdoors in blue jacket smiles at camera
Senior Advisor Judy Belk

Judy Belk is senior advisor for The California Wellness Foundation, one of California’s largest public health philanthropic institutions. Belk served as president and CEO of Cal Wellness from 2014-2023.

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