After Friday’s Supreme Court ruling was released, I kept hearing the number 50.
50 years of legal precedent had been undone; a Constitutional right that we had for 50 years had been taken away. Four generations of women in my family spanned those 50 years. Out of all of us—my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my daughter—I am the only one who had guaranteed access to safe and legal abortion during all of the years I menstruated.
My grandmother graduated from high school in 1922, two years after women finally won the battle for the right to vote. She was well past her child bearing years when Roe v Wade legalized abortion. My mother, born in 1934, was in her late thirties by the time abortion was legalized. She already had three children. She also had two miscarriages—thankfully without complications that could have endangered her life since abortion was illegal at the time. I was just a kid when abortion was legalized—a few years away from my first period. And when Roe was struck down this past Friday, I was years beyond my very last period. My daughter? Well, abortion was legal when she was born, although her access has varied depending upon what state she happened to be living in, as more and more restrictions and limitations have been enacted in the past twenty-plus years. As of June 24, 2022, the day Roe was overturned, my daughter is 25 years old.
So…out of all of the women in my family, going back four generations, I am the only one who had guaranteed access to safe and legal abortion during all of the years I menstruated.
There are so many issues I could dig into here. A politicized court that values guns over living, breathing human beings. A country that never wanted anyone except straight, white, wealthy, Christian men to have rights. A looming crisis—created in large part by the failure to separate church and state—of unwanted, neglected, abused, ill babies. Mass incarceration. Extreme poverty. A worsening mental health epidemic (‘I know you are only eleven years old and your father raped you, but you have to deliver this baby—you’ll eventually get over it if you survive the delivery’).
Yet what is really needed, along with mass protests, work stoppages, civil disobedience, and record breaking voter turnout, is practical advice and direction for those who are now left without the right to bodily autonomy and have nowhere to turn for help. We need to come together to organize on their behalf to ensure that everyone who needs access to abortion care has it. There is no time to waste. People needed abortions on Friday and Saturday. People need abortions today. We need to pool our resources and find additional resources. We need to turn to the politicians and physicians in other countries who are willing to help us. We need to set up easy, straightforward assistance that is accessible to all.
I know that many organizations have been planning for this moment since 1973. Many more have stepped up since the Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked. I am going to begin a list of resources here. I hope you will consider adding to it. We can’t be afraid. We can’t be paralyzed by our anger. As exhausted and traumatized as we are, we have to come together in resistance. We have to find the strength.
If you reside in Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Georgia, or South Carolina, you are in a state that now either bans abortion, has a trigger law that will soon ban abortion, has a pre-Roe ban, or has a six-week ban. Essentially, you will need an option outside of your state.
Here are some resources to explore (thank you, usow.org):
- M+A Hotline is a confidential and secure phone and text hotline for people in need of support for self-managed miscarriage or abortion.
- The Repro Legal Helpline is a free, confidential source for legal advice and information on self-managed abortion, like abortion pills.
- The Repro Legal Defense Fund provides financial assistance to people criminalized for self-managed abortion and pregnancy loss.
- Judicial Bypass Wiki is a website that provides legal support to young people who need an abortion without involving their parents.
- ineedana.com provides vetted, up-to-date, and personalized information on how to get an abortion (no search or user data saved).
- abortionfinder.org features the most comprehensive directory of over 750 trusted (and verified) abortion service providers in the United States.
- Practical Support Organizations (PSO’s) help abortion seekers with travel and logistical support. (usow.org).
And from Mashable.com:
- The Post-Roe Handbook, published as a book in 2019 by reporter and abortion activist Robin Marty, shares a multitude of digital resources, including activism guides, sample legislation, and a list of practical support organizations — a broad term referring to reproductive health networks that provide a wide array of services to people on the ground. The National Network of Abortion Access Funds also has a guide to finding support networks in your area.
- Online, many shared community-generated guides to support abortion funds and other forms of practical support, such as an evolving list of abortion access funds and guides to tweeting and advocating for abortion access in digital spaces. (Mashable.com).
And if you are in a position to give, please consider donating to any of the following organizations (much gratitude to Mashable for compiling this list):
First we’ll help. Then we’ll vote as if our lives depend on it, because they do.
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.