WellnessHow To Protect 'Roe v. Wade' Even If You Feel Helpless| Well+Good

How To Protect ‘Roe v. Wade’ Even If You Feel Helpless| Well+Good


On Monday, Politico leaked an initial draft majority opinion written by conservative court Justice Samuel Alito. The draft foreshadows the end of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that protects abortion under the fourteenth amendment. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” writes Justice Alito in the draft. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” Today, as many  come to grips with the fact that the national right to a safe and legal abortion may slip away, you may be asking yourself: “What can I do to protect Roe v. Wade?”

If the court overturns Roe v. Wade in June (when they’re expected to make their decision), reproductive rights will be kicked back to the state level. As a result, safe abortions would quickly become severely restricted or illegal for over 135 million people, according to NPR. And many states have even passed “trigger laws,” or pre-Roe abortion bans that will start the moment the court makes its decision, leaving many folks without the health care they need.

The effects of a post-Roe v. Wade world would be devastating and expansive. One in four women in the U.S. is expected to get an abortion, and for many, that decision is fundamental to their life’s course. They make the decision to pursue their education so that they can funnel their resources to their existing family members, or because they can’t afford a child (among other reasons).

Since Politico leaked the document, social media has been swirling with hot takes, sharable memes, and action items. As you gear up for the fight, remember: The initial draft majority opinion is still just that, a draft. Roe v. Wade is still intact, so if you need an abortion or have an existing appointment, you’re still within your legal right.

Still, you aren’t alone if you feel frustrated and restless right now. Below, Sharmin Hossain, abortion justice advocate and Campaign Director of the Liberate Abortion Campaign, offers her best advice for supporting reproductive rights.

How to protect Roe v. Wade and reproductive rights at large

1. Donate to abortion access funds

Your money can go a long way right now, so Hossain strongly urges you to donate to abortion access funds if you’re financially able. People will need transportation, time off work, and cash flow to travel if and when they need an abortion. Your money can ensure they get there safely and without emptying their wallets in the process.

“Everybody should move money towards abortion through the National Network of Abortion Funds,” Hossain. “One of the critical ways of supporting people seeking access to care is by making sure they have the money and the resources to access that care. So abortion funds fill that critical gap,” she explains.

Hossain also recommends donating to Keep Our Clinics, a campaign spearheaded by the Abortion Care Network that raises money for independent abortion clinics (the largest providers of abortion in the country).

To aid a specific state-level abortion fund, head here and select the state or states you’d like to send your donation.

2. Protest

Hossain also recommends taking to the streets. People have been protesting for thousands of years for a reason: the action creates a collective human voice on a shared issue and motivates authority figures to consider or change their actions.

“We want to let the Supreme Court justices know that we are outraged by this leaked draft opinion,” Hossain says. Several protests have already been planned throughout the country, including the Planned Parenthood Bans of Our Bodies Day of Action.

3. Make sure your community still knows that Roe v. Wade is intact

Part of caring for your community is making sure they understand what’s going on. So talk to loved ones about the leaked document, make sure they know that their abortion rights are still presently protected, and use inclusive, non-harmful language as you do. “People are often quick to use a coat hanger imagery or old school anecdotes about the horrors of abortion,” says Hossain. “Although that is the truth for many people pre-Roe, I think that those references are actually stigmatizing.”

It’s also a good idea to watch your use of pronouns and remember that people of all gender identities are affected by this news. “We really need to focus on opening up the language to not only be more gender-inclusive, but to include how queer people that are now have been attacked by trans exclusionary laws are also a part of this attack on reproductive rights,” she says.

4. Volunteer on a local level

There’s a lot you can do within your neighborhood to protect abortion rights. Volunteer to escort folks to your local abortion clinic, become a talkline advocate for people weighing their reproductive options, or find an abortion clinic office where you can volunteer.

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