Society of Southwest Archivists

AHA/OHA Joint Statement

21 Dec 2022 5:06 PM | Perla Camacho-Cedillo (Administrator)

This past summer, Alexandra Levy, Communications Manager for the American Historical Association (AHA), reached out to me as SSA President regarding a jointly issued statement between AHA and the Organization of American Historians (OAH) in which they expressed their dismay concerning the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Both organizations had provided the Supreme Court with an [amicus curiae] brief that included historical precedence supporting their argument that the "history" referred to in the court's majority opinion is inaccurate and a misrepresentation. According to their response, the Supreme Court “...adopted a flawed interpretation of abortion criminalization that has been pressed by anti-abortion advocates for more than thirty years. … These misrepresentations are now enshrined in a text that becomes authoritative for legal reference and citation in the future. The court’s decision erodes fundamental rights and has the potential to exacerbate historic injustices and deepen inequalities in our country.”

Given the historical implications (not political), the SSA Board reviewed the AHA/OHA joint statement and agreed to sign on as a supporter. I encourage you to read the [amitus curiae] brief to review the historical precedence supporting their argument. As a signatory, SSA shows our support with their statement, in particular: "The OAH and AHA consider it imperative that historical evidence and argument be presented according to high standards of historical scholarship. The court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson does not meet those standards and has therefore established a flawed and troubling precedent."

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