Feature image by Alex Wong/Getty Images.
I’m mad. I’ve been SO MAD. And also… Sad. Bewildered. I keep trying to swirl my mind about it. Because we all knew it was coming right? We all knew that the end game has always been Roe v. Wade.
Last night, aleaked draft of a Supreme Court decisionoverturning Roe v. Wade — the famous 1973 decision that guarantees the legal right to an abortion — has absolutely ripped through the hearts and minds of everyone I know (and probably everyone that you know, too). Last night I went through waves of panic, just trying to have a grasp on it.
The document, which was written by Justice Samuel Alito, was first reported on last night by Politico. It’s drafted majority decision to the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is about a Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks. In unambiguous language, the opinion overturns Roe v. Wade, as well as another case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the central tenet of Roe but allowed states to restrict access as long as they did not place “an undue burden” on people seeking abortions.
The decision, when it goes into effect, would give states the right to restrict abortion access or deny it completely.
However, and this is what is the most important: The draft opinion leaked last night is not law. It has not been formally issued by the court. Activists and pendants are expecting for a ruling handed down this summer. We are not there yet. And if you (or someone that you knows) need access to a safe, legal abortion, they can find a clinic at ineedanA.com or text ‘hello’ to 202 883 4620.
But we can be sure that the leaked ruling will continue embolding those conservative-led states already eager to restrict access to the procedure. And it will discourage those who need it from seeking abortions that, under current law, they are are still legally entitled to have.
The fight to keep abortion is going to need to come from a lot of sides, from our legislative representatives, from activists on the ground, and from ourselves. There will be lots of discussions about legal strategies and next steps, and those are key! I wish I had more words. I wish I knew how to be eloquent in my daze. If you find yourself in the same place, I wanted to highlight at least one specific, actionable thing you can do right now.
This post was originally written in 2021 and has been updated and republished, because there is no way off this rollercoaster except to rely on ourselves, our advocacy, and to fight.
What Is an Abortion Fund?
If you’ve been on social media in the last 24 hours, you’ve probably seen calls to support abortion funds, and you’ll probably see more in the days and months to come. Abortion provide financial and/or tangible (transportation, mental health care, volunteer assistance, etc) support to those who need an abortion. They have been around for decades. ABORTION IS STILL LEGAL AND AVAILABLE IN ALL 50 STATES —I cannot stress that enough. And the battle to keep it that way is not over. But those most vulnerable need immediate aid now, and this is tangible way to show up and support.
You can donate (or learn how to volunteer!) with the organizations listed below.
I have put an [*] next to states where there are trigger laws already in place that, should Roe v. Wade be overturned, abortion would immediately become banned and illegal (there are 13 states where that currently applies), along with states where there is currently only one abortion clinic in the state, or states where late term abortions are purposefully and punitively cost prohibitive. (Thank you to this twitter thread shared with me this morning by Autostraddle’s Director of Operations, Laneia, for the idea.)
This is not a perfect system! For example, you’ll notice that Texas does not have an [*] despite being notoriously precarious (to put it generously) when it comes to safe abortion care. MSNBC, for example, is reporting 23 states that will ban abortion should Roe be overturned due to a variety of factors, including old pre-Roe laws that are currently still on the books (this includes my home state Michigan, which also does not have an asterisk on this list).
But I am hoping to draw attention to the inequity in safe abortion access in this country, right now, and who will be left with the least amount of resources if the road we’re on continues. If you live in one of the 21 states, and DC, where the right to abortion is legally protected please support and continue the fight at home — but also recognize your privilege, and consider supporting beyond the safety net your community as well.
Give to an Abortion Fund
Some of these funds have “women” in their title. Not all people who are in need of abortions are women. However, in the interest of providing the widest breadth of information to those who may be in need, in parts of the country where abortion access is in immediate jeopardy, we only included funds that have “women” in the title if there was no other fund available in that state. We recognize it’s a delicate line, and one not one we take lightly. Safe abortion access is critical for trans patients, and should always be a priority.
District of Columbia
North Dakota *
South Dakota *
West Virginia *