From Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Program Director
Based on the draft decision leaked earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that secured the right to legal abortion nationwide. If that happens, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion. This criminalization of reproductive healthcare would harm the health of pregnant people unable to access safe, legal abortion and worsen gender inequity.
If the language in the draft decision is finalized, it could also threaten access to contraception, gay marriage, and other human rights. It could even reverse precedents that let environmentalists file federal climate-related legal action. This case underscores the reality that reproductive justice is environmental justice. If you’d like to support abortion access, we recommend donating to the National Network of Abortion Funds or a fund in your community.
More than a million people joined hundreds of protests across the country last weekend in support of abortion rights. Read the Center’s statement on why we support the right to abortion.
Dietary Guidelines Update Underway
As part of the first step toward the 2025–2030 update of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services stated that sustainability and the connection between nutrition and climate change are important issues. However, the agencies proposed an unspecified separate process to address these topics instead of integrating them into the work of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The Center and 39 other environmental, public health and food advocacy organizations submitted comments asking the agencies to include sustainability throughout the process of developing the guidelines. “The agencies say sustainability is important, but without a clear plan to tackle it within the 2025 guidelines, they’re just paying lip service while U.S. diets continue to push us further from necessary emissions-reduction targets,” said Mark Rifkin, a registered dietitian and senior food and agriculture policy specialist at the Center.
Here’s one thing you can do: Learn about the importance of sustainable dietary guidelines.
Upcoming Webinar on Building Climate Resilience
Municipal climate plans have been key in combatting climate change, stepping up where national leadership falls short and addressing their residents’ specific needs. Yet they often overlook key strategies to reduce emissions and build equitable, healthy communities. The Center and Upstream Solutions are teaming up to present a webinar on local strategies to build climate change resilience through gender empowerment, food systems and reuse in municipal climate plans.
Register now for our webinar on June 9 at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. We’ll also be presenting on this topic at the Global Council for Science and the Environment’s annual conference on June 22.
How Environmental Campaigns Connect Food to Extinction
Georgia State University communications experts recently examined the work of the Center and six other organizations to learn how environmental groups are making the connection between food, farming, fishing and the wildlife extinction crisis. The paper, published in Environmental Communications, borrowed its title from the Center’s groundbreaking Take Extinction Off Your Plate campaign.
The paper argues that “collective action framing around this issue should problematize not only the environmental unsustainability of existing human food systems in the Anthropocene but also the injustice caused by the undue burden it places on fellow animals with whom we (are supposed to) share the planet.” Their call for a biocentric approach is reflected in the Center’s mission to save life on Earth.
Here's one thing you can do: Learn more about how meat production harms wildlife.
Contraception Conversations: Time to Talk About Sex Ed
Sex education is only required in 32 states and the District of Columbia, and only 18 states require sex ed curriculum to be medically accurate. While education may have evolved in some subjects, when it comes to sex ed, young people are less likely to receive instruction on key topics than they were 25 years ago. People need to be informed to make decisions about their sexual health and reproductive futures.
In our latest installment of Contraception Conversation videos, Population and Sustainability Organizer Sarah Baillie interviewed several professionals and students about their sex ed experiences and their vision for how to make sex ed more inclusive and comprehensive for everyone. Watch the interviews.
Rescheduled: Decolonizing Regenerative Agriculture
The fourth installment of our Grazing the Wild: Facts and Fiction About Grass-Fed Beef webinar series has been rescheduled. “Decolonizing Regenerative Agriculture to Build a Just Food System” will discuss how traditional farming and foodways can surpass approaches that treat regenerative grazing as a mere technical trick. Our expert panelists will look at how the future of food production depends on holistic connections between farming, community and biodiversity. Learn more about our panel and speakers.
If you missed the first three webinars in the series, watch them now, and learn more about the environmental impact of cattle grazing at our Grazing Facts website.
Wildlife Spotlight: Pronghorn
Pronghorns are the fastest animals in North America, able to reach speeds of 60 mph. These animal athletes, who look similar to antelopes, can also maintain speeds of 30 to 40 mph over long distances and make 20-foot leaps when running. They use these skills to evade predators and to travel along the Path of the Pronghorn, an iconic 170-mile-long migratory path connecting the animals’ summer range in Grand Teton National Park with their winter range farther south, in the Upper Green River Basin.
The Path of the Pronghorn is one of the last remaining long-distance land migration pathways in the Western Hemisphere. Millions of dollars have been spent to protect it, but now this conservation success is threatened by a plan to allow a massive fracking project along the route. The Center and our allies are fighting in federal court to protect the Path of the Pronghorn.