On June 24th, 2022 the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
We're sending love to all of our pregnancy-capable friends, family and loved ones. We are also scared for our LGBTQIA friends whose marriages, healthcare and safety are also called into question by this opinion. It is bad and it is going to get worse.
You may want to know how to help. I am sharing some good information and resources here for those who are interested.
What Will Happen Legally:
Abortion is no longer protected at the federal level. States are able to criminalize abortion care. Abortion will remain legal in many states and clinics will be providing care.
26 states are certain or very likely to completely ban abortion (see map below). This will result in an unprecedented public health crisis, on top of the one we already had going on, along with a rapid expansion of the criminalization of pregnant people.
What Will Happen In Your Communities, to People You Love:
Abortion is a sensitive issue for a lot of people. There are strong feelings about what others should and shouldn't do, what's "reasonable" or too far in terms of laws. But we're not talking about feelings. This is about sending doctors to prison, about the government forcing people to submit to pregnancy and childbirth against their will.
We will not be returning to a pre-Roe scenario with "back-alley" abortions and coat hangers. Many abortion seekers will be able to self-manage their abortions using safe and effective FDA-approved medication abortion pills, even in hostile states. BUT, we also now have a much larger, more sophisticated law enforcement infrastructure that will surveill, prosecute, and punish people for abortions and pregnancy outcomes like miscarriages. In 2022, the risks are largely legal, not medical.
A lot of people will now need to travel out-of-state, often hundreds of miles, to obtain an abortion in a clinic. Because 50 states worth of people will be trying to access care in the remaining half of states who haven't banned it, people will have to wait weeks or even months for an appointment. Everyone everywhere will now have difficulty accessing timely abortion care and associated care, such as miscarraige management, etc..
Most (75%) of abortion seekers are poor or low-income. Most (59%) are already parents. 1 in 4 pregnancy-capable people will have an abortion in their lifetime. You know and love people who have had abortions. If they haven't told you, consider whether you seem like a safe person to tell. Take that to heart and care enough to change.
What Can You Do?:
The most impactful thing you can do at the moment is to donate money. I know, I know. If that isn't an option or if you want to do more, organize other people to donate money. The coolest among you will become monthly donors–even of a smaller amount, because it provides a stable cash flow for organizations which are largely volunteer-run.
Here's where it can go (bonus points if you do them all):
You'll note that none of our recommendations include giving to well-funded orgs like Planned Parenthood, starting your own thing when these networks exist, fighting with people on the internet, or marching. Our informed advice is to prioritize mutual aid through local organizations.
Sure, But Then What?:
You may be wondering what we can do to fix all of this? Surely somebody has a plan!
There's not much that can be done in the short-term other than helping people get care. There is no immediate political or legal solution due to the composure of the court, the makeup of the Senate, and GOP control of state governments. This will be our reality for a while.
The best we can do is really engage in state-level efforts, where abortion will be regulated (banned or protected): support the election of good state representatives, local prosecutors and judges who don't want to criminalize abortion care or pregnancy outcomes. Support efforts to protect voting rights, trans rights, and to create alternatives to policing and punishment. Encourage prosecutors not to go after pregnant people.
To be clear, there is something to do in every state and not enough people doing it.
And finally, don't despair.
Get mad, get engaged, get organized, but focus on constructive actions.
In the words of the PIC abolitionist, Mariame Kaba:
"Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair."
If ever we need to have each other's backs, it's now.
If you would like to share this info, copy it into an email/post or share bit.ly/RoeWYCD, which is to this published google doc.