How To Fight For Abortion Rights Following The Roe Vs. Wade Ruling
We won’t back down.
Roe vs. Wade has been overturned. Abortion was immediately banned in 18 states, and 26 states are likely to do so. We are headed for a very dark future, where neighbors will report on neighbors for having abortions, doctors will be jailed, and miscarriages (which are often indistinguishable from abortions) will be investigated as possible criminal acts.
The fact that we have long suspected that this was coming makes it no less devastating. The way the lives of people who can get pregnant have been impacted are only just beginning to make themselves apparent, whether it’s the people sobbing in the waiting room of the last abortion clinic in Texas as they were turned away or the Governor in Mississippi refusing to rule out banning IUDs and Plan B. As a parent, it is horrifying to know that my daughter will have less rights to determine the course of her own life than I had, or, for that matter, than her grandmothers had.
And as sad as that makes me, it also makes me furious.
Whether this is accepted as a new normal or something that we will overturn in our lifetime will depend on how vehemently people fight back against it.
There are ways you can.
Help Those Traveling For Abortions
If you live in a region where abortion is still legal it may be very tempting to post on Facebook that anyone can come visit you and stay at your place if they need one. This isn't the best approach for pretty obvious reasons (like anti-choice people lying). It is, however, fortunate that, for the time being, women can still travel out of state for abortions. Though this may be banned in the future, right now, the major concern for many is the cost of traveling out of state. But numerous organizations can offer assistance. For instance, The Haven Coalition in New York, The Midwest Access Coalition in Chicago help provide bus tickets and accommodations — at volunteer's houses — for those traveling. You can look for other organizations in your area through the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Planned Parenthoods in states where abortion is still legal, such as California, are expecting “an influx of out-of-State abortion patients.” This will stretch the clinics resources extremely thin. As an organization that not only provides abortion but also mammograms, birth control, and yearly check-ups, Planned Parenthood could certainly use additional support right now. In addition to accepting donations, they offer volunteer opportunities in administration, advocacy, education, and fundraising.
Support Pro Choice Candidates
It is a bit hard to get excited about voting when Democrats are hosting a sing-along of “God Bless America” at the same time a constitutional right is being overturned. But supporting pro-choice candidates in local elections is the only way to keep abortion safe in the states. Pro-choice Senators and Representatives might be able to codify abortion into federal law. When voting, look to see who the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) has endorsed. They have a complete list of pro-choice candidates here.
Be A Pro-Choice Candidate
Perhaps you think “I’d love to run for office but I am not smart/qualified/electable enough.” To that I’d say — Donald Trump won. Run. Emily's List offers trainings on “the nuts and bolts of running for office.” They’re also looking for volunteers willing to host fundraisers, make signs, and knock on doors for candidates.
If you are able to march, this is the time to. If you stay silent, politicians will imagine that abortion is not really an issue people feel that strongly about. Rise Up 4 Abortion Access encourages people to protest "as if lives depend on it — for, in fact, they do.” They provide a useful list of marches occurring around the country.
Stress Shop Wisely
One pretty understandable reaction to the eradication of women's rights is to seek out something that might give you a brief dopamine rush. If you’re shopping, support companies that have pledged to cover the cost of employees traveling out of State for abortions. It's currently a short list, but, according to the New York Times it includes: Starbucks, Tesla, Yelp, Airbnb, Netflix, Patagonia, DoorDash, JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss & Co., PayPal, Reddit, Disney, Meta, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Condé Nast.
I wish with all my heart that one of the items on this list was "waving a magic wand that could stop this country from traveling back in time 50 years.” Any fight to get back the freedoms we've lost will be long, and arduous. But it can begin today.