Abortion is still legal in the United States.
Justice Alito’s draft opinion was just that: a draft. Until the Supreme Court issues an official ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, landmark cases Roe and Casey are still the law of the land. Patients can still go to their appointments and doctors are still providing care.
However, this doesn’t mean abortion is accessible. Texas’ six-week abortion ban went into effect last September and is still on the books thanks to inaction from the Supreme Court. Other states, like Oklahoma, are following suit. Much of the South has been post-Roe for years.
Organizers and advocates have been preparing for this moment for years.
In an abortion access crisis, well-meaning people sometimes jump into action without taking into account the incredible amount of labor long-time organizers have put into trying to answer “What happens now?”
We don’t need new underground networks to come up with ways to pay for abortions or house patients traveling from out of state. Those support networks already exist. Abortion funds provide financial assistance and/or practical support like housing, transportation, child care, and translation services for people seeking abortion care. If you need help paying for an abortion or with logistical support surrounding your procedure, you can find an abortion fund here.
It is imperative that we listen to the leadership and directive of people who have been leading on this issue for years and will be most directly impacted by the loss of abortion access, particularly Black, brown, and Indigenous people, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, low-income people, people living in rural areas, and youth.
You can safely self-manage abortion with pills.
Abortion can be safely and effectively self-managed up to twelve weeks of pregnancy with pills and accurate information.
We Testify has an excellent informational guide about self-managed abortion. Here, you can find resources, a section on legality, and details about the pills, preparation, and process. You can also call the Repro Legal Helpline at (844) 868-2812 if you have questions about the legal risks of self-managed abortion.
Trans and non-binary people have abortions, too.
Every person who may become pregnant is impacted by the decimation of abortion access, not only cisgender women. Trans and non-binary people also need and have abortions.
It is important to be thoughtful about language even as we rapidly respond to a seemingly unending stream of bad news. Using inclusive terminology that affirms everyone is key. I say “abortion rights” and “human rights” rather than “women’s rights,” and “people who have abortions,” “people who need access to abortion,” “pregnant people,” and other variations rather than women-focused phrases.
This isn’t just about abortion.
Justice Alito’s draft opinion has explicit implications for marriage equality, “sodomy” laws, contraception, interracial marriage, and so many other issues the Supreme Court has ruled on. As we defend abortion access, we must also be prepared for copycat cases that will seek to restrict other human rights.
Reproductive freedom and autonomy isn’t only about abortion, either. Reproductive justice—a framework developed by Black women—offers us an expanded lens through which to view this moment. Our human rights not only include the right to decide when and if to parent, but to parent the children we do have in safe and sustainable communities.
For example, the criminalization of the end of a pregnancy—whether of abortion patients or providers, or someone suffering a miscarriage—will most heavily impact Black folks, who are also most heavily impacted by the potential effects of that criminalization, like policing, incarceration, and the cash bail system. Policing and prisons do not make our communities or families safe.
Daily Kos is fundraising for abortion funds in hostile states and those surrounding them, some of which have already seen an increase in patients traveling across state lines for care after Texas’ six-week abortion ban was enacted. You can make an impact right now by donating to these organizations to help people access abortion in this moment and in the future.