A protest sign with drawings of wired hangers reads "we will not go back, protect Roe v. Wade"
Image Source: Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Defending Safe Abortion Access Post-Roe v. Wade

On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court rejected the constitutional right to an abortion, reversing Roe v. Wade. The 6-3 decision strips away the protections in place for half a century, including Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed the original 1973 decision (Supreme Court). The Supreme Court ruling means that each state can determine its own abortion laws (CNBC). While 22 states are expected to retain abortion access, most are expected to significantly restrict abortion access (New York Times). Thirteen states, like Oklahoma and Texas, have “trigger laws” banning abortion effective immediately now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Following the decision, Missouri has become the first state to effectively ban abortion (Twitter). See where your state stands with the recent ruling.

While the decision was expected following a draft leak in May, the ruling is still a devasting blow that will have rippling effects beyond abortion access and reproductive health. 

TAKE ACTION

• Mobilize in person if you have the capacity. The New York Working Families Party has scheduled one this evening in Washington Square Park. Harriet’s Wildest Dream is holding a rally at the Supreme Court. Other cities are gathering at local town halls. Mobilize in person if you have the capacity. Harriet’s Wildest Dream is holding a rally at the Supreme Court. The New York Working Families Party has scheduled one this evening in Washington Square Park. Other cities are gathering at local town halls.

• Donate to abortion funds, including Four Thieves Vinegar Collective, Keep Our Clinics, Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania, Buckle Bunnies Fund, SisterSong, the Afiya Center, and Indigenous Women Rising.

• Call the free, confidential Repro Legal Helpline or use ineedana.com to find an abortion clinic. Use good digital security practices when searching.

• Vote for pro-abortion candidates across the board in local and national elections.

• Consider how you can help support people trying to access abortions near you. Let your community know what you can offer, whether it’s driving someone to and from a place, offering a place to stay, etc. We have to commit to taking care of each other.

In the past few months, we have covered the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade and the existing reality of criminalized abortion for marginalized communities. As we beginning to see the fallout from the decision, here are the ways we can further prepare and mobilize for safe abortion access and reproductive health across the country.


Fight for reproductive justice.

“The politicization of reproductive rights often centers abortion access, but reproductive health is a broader topic relating to bodily autonomy, a right that has been denied people of color for centuries. The latest abortion ban in Texas will most harshly affect marginalized BIPOC communities already struggling to escape poverty and gain access to health insurance and affordable birth control (Planned Parenthood)…Racial disparities in reproductive health and healthcare are a malignant form of discrimination that continues to harm communities of color in the present day. The scourge of racism is not simply a stain that torments the outer layers of our society; it is a public health crisis that has long eroded the foundation of America. Stand up for reproductive justice for all.”


Demand access to safe abortions.

“It’s likely to dissuade people from seeking abortion care and place abortion facilities at risk of more torment from conservatives. Moreover, it’ll bolster state decisions to restrict abortion access. Several Republican-led states, including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Kentucky, have already implemented restrictions on abortions. State or federal judges have challenged some because they conflict with Roe and Casey but are likely to be upheld if overturned by the Supreme Court. By the end of the summer, it’s expected that 26 states will introduce legislation to ban abortions (Planned Parenthood).”


End the criminalization of abortion.

“‘Many poor women don’t have a car,’ Ushma Upadhyay, a researcher at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health located at the University of California at San Francisco, said. ‘They don’t have money for gas. They don’t have money for buses or trains. That also means time off of work, which is an even greater burden for lower-income women.’ We don’t have to wait until Roe v. Wade is overturned to see pregnant people effectively denied reproductive health care. Marginalized pregnant people are already cut out from a system we were told is our constitutional right.”


Learn how digital surveillance threatens reproductive freedom.

“Consider the story of Latice Fisher, who was indicted for second-degree murder in 2017 after experiencing a pregnancy loss in Mississippi. During the investigation, prosecutors obtained Fisher’s cellphone data and found she searched for information on how to induce a miscarriage and how to buy abortion pills online. Her charges were dropped in 2020, but if convicted, she could’ve faced 40 years in prison (NBC News, Fast Company). And she’s not the only one; since 2006, over 1,300 people have been “arrested, detained, or punished for allegedly committing crimes related to their pregnancies” (National Advocates for Pregnant Women).”


Learn about reproductive suppression.

“When discussing the loss of reproductive rights, it’s dismissive to reference a fictional show when its horrors have been – and still are – a reality for marginalized people. From the forced sterilization of disabled people, immigrants, and other people of color, to the inhumane reproductive experimentation on Black enslaved people, and the ongoing discrimination in reproductive care, there are many examples of how reproductive suppression already impacts marginalized groups.”


Understand why adoption isn’t the solution to abortion.

“Beyond the fact that abortion is health care and that bodily autonomy is a human right, using adoption as an alternative to abortion lacks compassion. It ignores the trauma the birthing person will endure or the long-term trauma the child will experience in foster care or if they are adopted immediately.”


Protect reproductive justice beyond elections.

“The Supreme Court has been and continues to be the battleground for racial integration, gay and interracial marriage, and abortion. Issues of crucial public importance are decided not by popular vote but by unelected judges’ interpretations of a document written by enslavers. Many are white, with politics that could generously be described as moderate…Feminists from marginalized communities have had to grapple with the fact that even well-intended laws are enforced by racist, murderous institutions: the courts, the prisons, and the police.”

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