Caregivers and counselors see a dark period as Californians struggle with fear – San Bernardino Sun

Even though abortion remains legal in California, the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, June 24, has had a chilling effect on women across the state concerned about the future of their reproductive health rights, as well as among historically marginalized groups who worry that their rights, too, will eventually be stripped.

John Tsilimparis, a licensed psychotherapist in Los Angeles, said residents in this country have been dealing with a mental health crisis since at least the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and that current events – including recent mass shootings, inflation, a war in Ukraine and ongoing political divisiveness – had already left Americans grief-stricken.

The Supreme Court decision will only add to that grief, he said.

“It’s a very dark moment for our nation that’s already been in the dark since the pandemic,” he said, adding that Friday’s ruling will “exacerbate and will further damage the nation’s psyche.”

“People who are marginalized, women are going to feel even more demoralized,” he said.

Moreover, he said, other groups may be looking at the Roe v. Wade decision and wondering what might become of their own hard-fought wins, including advocates of same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ+ rights or voter rights who are concerned that conservatives may become emboldened to try dismantling of laws that protect their rights.

Dr. Vickie M. Mays, a clinical psychologist with a background in health policies from UCLA said the public has been angry since the news leaked last month that the nation’s highest court planned to overturn the federal landmark case that upheld abortion rights for nearly five decades.

Over the past several years, U.S. Supreme Court nominees had given the impression during their confirmation hearings that they believed Roe v. Wade to be settled, Mays said. For the justices to overturn the ruling now won’t inspire public trust in the government, she said.

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