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Transforming Anger into Action

Yesterday, the United States celebrated Independence Day, and nine days prior, the nation's highest court stripped millions of the sovereign right to bodily autonomy. With a 6-3 court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruled the era of legal abortion in the United States is over. The June 17th ruling asserts states can limit or ban abortion earlier in pregnancy than a fetus would be viable outside the womb. The ruling effectively overturns Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion throughout the country. Wade has been under attack for years. 13 states have had trigger laws - legislation enacted in the event of a change - in place for years, with some capable of being passed immediately or within 24 hours of Roe's overturn. Texas takes effect 30 days after the decision. This ban will hit the hardest, victims of abuse, marginalized and poor individuals. The ruling doesn't stop people from seeking to terminate their pregnancy. It simply reduces resources to do so legally.


It can be discouraging when the same systems we seek to eliminate benefit from resistance. On-duty police officers are present at protests while protecting the very system killing people of color with impunity. Mega-corporations have used Roe's overturn as a press opportunity to highlight the reimbursement of travel instead of, you know – a) having a comprehensive maternity/paternity leave b) not requiring employees to share deeply personal information usually relegated between them and their doctor or c) not financially backing the politicians that seek to dismantle body autonomy in the first place.

In a brutal reality, our collective heartbreak and outrage can be fuel. Through community, there are things we can do to support those who need care and keep up the fight for abortion rights. Here’s what you can do:

Donate to abortion funds...

The most direct way to support the right to bodily autonomy is to donate where funds will help those seeking care. Abortion funds are on-the-ground organizations that help arrange and pay for patient care for those in need of financial support. Many states where abortion remains legal are preparing for an influx of out-of-state patients. Abortion funds can help support the added costs of travel, lodging, childcare, emotional support, and coverage of the medical procedure itself. The National Network of Abortion Funds, which includes upwards of 90 local independent, grassroots organizations, provides guidance on donating and getting involved locally.

...and local clinics.

 In suburban and rural areas, local clinics are shouldering the demand for abortions across the country. While Planned Parenthood is a national provider of women's health and family planning, independent clinics (non-Planned Parenthood organizations) provide nearly 60% of total abortions in the US. Additionally, Planned Parenthood is well funded. Earlier this year, the organization received a $275 million donation from billionaire MacKenzie Scott. Smaller organizations run off on the support of donors and the generosity of volunteers and could benefit sorely from contributions. Gifting as little as $3 or $5 a month can help organizations plan their budgets for coming seasons. Continued access to abortion care means independent clinics need to stay open. For states like Mississippi, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, independent clinics are all that's left.

Volunteer your time 

Jumping in with those already doing the work is a great way to streamline your talents with the cause. Volunteering to drive to clinic appointments, coordinating lodging, or serving as an escort to patients entering clinics extend past advocacy. Check out what's available in your area, and if you discover an unfulfilled need, do not be afraid to start something of your own. 

Urge Colleges & Universities to provide abortion care

Advocating for abortion access at your college or university is also an option. Even though higher education spaces have historically not provided abortion care, the tides are changing. In 2019, California became the first state to require abortion medicine access at public colleges; others may not be far behind. Under the law, the two-pill medicine is free to students at all 34 state institutions. In a post-Roe country, the availability of colleges providing abortion care gives local clinics inundated with regional and out-of-state patients a reprieve.  

Our stance is clear. Abortions are a medical procedure that should be unequivocally safe, legal, on-demand and without apology.  The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country, does not offer universal parental leave, is currently experiencing a baby formula shortage and quite literally experiences weekly mass shootings.  This is not about life – this is about control. It goes back to maintaining the status quo set 246 years (and one day ago) when women and people of color were not considered on equal standing with land owning white men.

 



 

 


 

 

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