A protester outside the U.S. Supreme Court holds up a sign that says, ‘Federally Legalize Abortion’; by Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash.
News + Advocacy

Post Ban: Accessing Abortion in the U.S.

Just over a week ago the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) officially overturned Roe vs. Wade — stripping away an enshrined constitutionally protected right to access abortion. Despite news that this decision was coming after a draft opinion was leaked back in May; this final ruling has been a devastating shock to many.

Thirteen states had abortion ban ‘trigger laws’ that went into effect as soon as Roe was rescinded; with many more seeking a return to pre-Roe state laws that either outright ban and criminalize abortion care or more substantially restrict access to it. This attack on bodily autonomy; one of the most fundamental and central to all other rights we have as humans has exposed how inequality becomes ingrained within political systems — no laws provide government the power to make decisions about (cisgender) male bodies, for example. Legal authority and equity over reproductive personhood has now been given the green-light to be controlled by conservative, ultra-religious political whims.

A graphic link to a News & Advocacy post on Transatlantic Notes called, ‘Post Ban: Accessing Abortion in the U.S.’

In a country that seems to pride itself on the cornerstone of personal freedom; forced birth should go against everything this nation purports to stand for. Nobody should possess the ability to undermine or violate the health or autonomy of someone else. Individuals must always retain the right to determine for themselves what happens to their bodies; the entitlement to impose choices on others in this way should not exist, the fact it’s been given the SCOTUS seal of approval should be alarming to us all.

A deeply intimate, difficult and personal choice; that should have been protected and defended (even if disagreed with) has turned the principles of freedom and integrity into a political and religious circus.  

To be clear; bodily autonomy relates to the total control an individual has over granting continuous consent about how, when, why, how long for, and what uses their body — which includes being able to deny or withdraw that consent. Self-determination and self-ownership encompass a foundational liberty that is meant to be boldly protected.

It’s why you can’t be forced to donate blood, tissue, or organs. Even if you are dead. Even if you’d save or improve 20 lives. It’s why someone can’t touch you, have sex with you, or use your body in any way without your continuous consent. A fetus is using someone’s body parts. Therefore under bodily autonomy, it is there by permission, not by right. | Hannah Goff

Any religious argument for or against abortion and reproductive care comes under the umbrella of self-governance; you have the right to follow the teachings of your faith and/or make decisions informed by that doctrine. The same goes for strongly held beliefs that guide you in your everyday life — you get to choose the path you take. Freedom of religion within the United States also represents freedom from religion; you cannot compel or subjugate someone else on the basis of your faith.

A protester outside the U.S. Supreme Court holds up a sign that says, ‘Grow Abortion Power’; by Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash.
photo via Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash

While the 5-4 SCOTUS decision that overturned Roe vs. Wade last week was not (seemingly) based on a religious argument; ultra conservative Christian control over America is front and centre regarding this issue. It’s been a well coordinated and funded campaign for decades that runs through the corridors of power, particularly within the Republican Party. The lines between separation of church and state have become increasingly blurred — especially since Christian nationalism found more traction under former President Trump’s tenure. 

The arbitrary way in which anti-abortion rhetoric has been able to drive challenges and changes to abortion law has been disheartening and overwhelming; on a level that I think surprised many. We all recognized this was coming, but it nonetheless left those of us who are unapologetically pro-choice feeling a mix of difficult emotions.

Make no mistake; abortions will continue to happen in the places where it has been made illegal — they just won’t be safe anymore. People will die because their state does not defend bodily autonomy — even exceptions within statewide abortion bans that allow for the life of the mother or pregnant person to be saved do not offer robust certainties. Deliberately vague language within these laws about what constitutes a critical situation and the potential consequences for medical professionals who perform them makes for a deadly combination — and that’s just one example.

But every law and statute that contains this exception is written a little differently, and most of them are ambiguous about what constitutes “life-threatening” and how that should be determined. | FiveThirtyEight

An Instagram post from the account So Informed that reads; In a country that offers no universal healthcare, no paid family leave, no universal childcare, no free birth control, no mandatory comprehensive sex education nationally, and offers an abysmal system that makes seeking financial assistance and insurance a complete circus, it takes unimaginable levels of audacity for the lawmakers who are instrumental in upholding the aforementioned realities to fight for forced pregnancy and birth.
words via so.informed/Instagram | art by Molly Transatlantic Notes

The mental health implications of forced pregnancy (not to mention unwanted physical and financial strain) will produce harmful and lasting consequences for those involved. The emotional trauma that inaccessible abortions inflict; coupled with already existing barriers to healthcare (prohibitively expensive, racial disparities, discrimination towards LGBTQ2S+, inconsistent insurance coverage, etc.) makes overturning Roe vs. Wade particularly egregious.

Handing reproductive freedom over to individual state control is made all the more sickening when you consider SCOTUS was undoubtedly aware many would make no exceptions for rape or incest. The deliberate cruelty that this ruling further perpetuates on victims of sexual assault and abuse reveals the disconnect that many in the ‘pro-life’ movement have to their own humanity. What does denying an abortion to a 10-year old sexual abuse victim say about this nation, for example? What does denying anyone their reproductive rights positively do for a country apart from wreaking trauma and hardship?

There is so much to unpack about this decision; what I’ve explored here and in previous posts only cover a fraction of its far-reaching and complex ramifications. What’s particularly beneficial at this time is to keep sharing organizations that help people access abortion services despite the restrictions that are or will soon come into effect …

Abortion Pill Information/Resources

  • Plan C Pills | plancpills.org
  • Hey Jane | heyjane.co
  • AidAccess | aidaccess.org

Finding An Abortion Clinic

  • Abortion Finder | abortionfinder.org
  • I Need An Abortion | ineedana.com

Travel, Lodging and Financial Support

  • Abortion Funds | abortionfunds.org
  • The Brigid Alliance | bridgidalliance.org
  • Apiary for Practical Support | @apiaryps on Instagram
  • NAF Hotline: 800-772-9100

Confidential Support

  • Repro Legal Helpline | reprolegalhelpline.org
  • M & A Hotline (Medical) | mahotline.org
 A protester holds a sign with a drawing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the words, 'When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty'. Photo by Gayatri Malhotra via Unsplash.
photo via Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash

Accessing an abortion — for any reason — is essential health care. Nobody should have to justify what support and help they need to maintain their well-being. It’s unconscionable this liberty has been handled over to a minority; most U.S. adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Those in power congratulating themselves about regressing abortion rights seemingly ignore the consequences of their position; a medical system where significant numbers of people already cannot access crucial (sometime lifesaving) treatment or procedures — like cancer and diabetes care — without crowdfunding from the internet is ill-equipped to address the impending crisis that forced birth will bring. 

For anyone who is equally dismayed at the direction this country is headed; hold on to the fact that there are community-based programs and organizations that will continue to help people access abortion care no matter what — it starts with us.

What are your thoughts on banning abortion? Do you think abortion should be codified into federal law?


Further Info:

Faith and Flag Conservatives – Pew Research

The End Of Roe Will Create More Inequality Of Opportunity For Children – Brookings

34 thoughts on “Post Ban: Accessing Abortion in the U.S.”

  1. I can’t believe that this is what the world has come to. That poor 10-year-old girl, having to go through with the pregnancy and raise a child when she’s still a child herself. It’s completely crazy that America thinks they are a free country and then pulls something so awful. Everyone should have a choice about their own body.

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    1. Thankfully, despite Ohio not offering an abortion to her she was able to travel to Indiana to get the help she needed; however, Indiana will shortly be banning it all too so many more children, teens and adults will be forced into a pregnancy they don’t want. This is a nightmare.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe that this is happening in the US at the moment, it’s truly horrific and it’s shocking that we’re still going so backwards. Bodily autonomy should be a basic human right and everyone should have the choice of what to do with their body. Thank you so much for speaking out on this and sharing some really helpful links!

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    1. It has been awful to know this was coming and see it play out; SCOTUS has done so much damage with this ruling. Bodily autonomy is the most fundamental right we have so to have it taken away like this is beyond cruel. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really can’t believe what’s happening in the US at the moment. My heart really does break for you. I’m under no illusion that this decision will cause repercussions elsewhere around the world as well. Thank you for sharing this post and more information for those of us outside the US.

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  4. Every time I hear people rant about Muslim fundamentalism, I think about White Christian fundamentalism. I cannot believe America is sliding back in this way, my heart goes out to every girl or woman who no longer has the right to say what happens to her body. Quite, quite terrifying.

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    1. It’s alarming how much power a minority of White Christian fundamentalists have over politics in this country. It is awful to see this country slide into this demise; I hope communities, voters and people speak up take action for positive change.

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  5. Thank you for sharing all of the amazing resources available to women. It’s devastating to us what happened on June 24th and we plan to keep fighting to ensure all women have access to this essential form of healthcare.

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  6. Perfectly said Molly. It’s heartbreaking to hear what’s happening in the States, but I’m so glad to see so many standing up, using their voice, and continuing to fight for their rights. I couldn’t agree more with the IG post from so.informed. Thank you for sharing these resources.

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  7. Every time I hear or read about this horrendous law change I feel sick to my stomach. I can’t believe that this is happening in 2022. It’s shocking and disgraceful. Thank you so much for writing about this scandalous topic and sharing it to us all.

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  8. I still can’t quite believe how this has happened. The fact that women can’t have a choice over their bodies is just horrendous. Thank you for sharing these resources for women x

    Lucy

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  9. America is such a weird place. It claims to stand for freedom, but you have less freedoms than most developed nations. I hope the changes to abortions is overturned soon, because you know they’re coming for gay marriage next

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  10. It is so hard to believe that this is what we have come to in the US. It’s amazing that you shared so many resources to help other women.

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  11. Even though we knew this was coming after the leaked documents, I was so shocked when I woke up that morning and read the news. I’m up in Canada, so am not yet in the same position, but it is frightening to think that our country could be influenced by the overturning of Roe vs Wade. I (Alison) have never wanted and don’t ever want children, so cannot imagine being forced to give birth. I don’t think I’d survive that trauma, honestly.

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    1. It’s alarming to consider the impacts of this decision beyond abortion and how it could infiltrate other countries. Being forced to give birth is heinous and contrary to any understanding of freedom. I am sickened by the level of trauma this country has stooped. Thank you so much for reading.

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  12. I wish I shared your optimism about mobilizing at a community level. If nothing else, the last several years has shown how Iill-equipped our electoral system is at handling the increasing red state/blue state divide and how what was meant to give smaller states a say in government has been manipulated to create minority rule. Barring some drastic change – and especially if the Supreme Court overturns the election case next year – we’re only going to get more entrenched in this system.

    That said, very powerful piece here. You did a great job conveying the dangers and shamefulness of this decision. Like our political system, our healthcare system is also broken (due to politics) and is not able to accommodate those who will be most affected. It’s a sad day and sad future for America.

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    1. Well, when I refer to community mobilization I should have made it clearer that I’m not focusing on voting but about setting up programs and organizations that will enable people to access abortion care. Right now, the community level is where fighting abortion bans will be most effective through helping people continue to access reproductive justice. Thank you so much for commenting — I will clarify my point within the post.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s fair. Sorry for being such a Debbie downer. Hard not to be right now though.

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  13. Thank you so much for voicing this and shedding more light on such a harrowing part of history. I cannot belive that in 2022 that womens/those who can give birth, have less rights over their own bodies than a corpse… A CORPSE! I’m speechless that the US has gone this way. You’ve shared a powerful piece here and I hope that there will be more hope around reproductive health care. Just because they are banning it does not mean it won’t happen, it just won’t be safe and that will result in so much unnecessary loss, pain and further health complications.

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    1. Exactly — these new laws are just designed to hurt people because if it really was about saving children then there would be so many things in place right now that look after them and ensure that the person giving birth has everything they need. They don’t care whose lives this destroys because they know that certain people will always be able to afford to fly off somewhere and get the care they need (specifically rich people and politicians wives, girlfriends, mistresses, etc). I know that community power will come through but it is an upward battle at this point.

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  14. This is so wrong. What gives any state, group or otherwise the right to dictate what happens to any person’s body? Where is the freedom of choice? I can’t believe this. The world seems to be going backwards instead of forwards. I feel for every female that has to endure forced pregnancy because of a ruling by an influential minority group. Sigh. Thank you for sharing this post and keeping those of us outside of the US informed.

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    1. It certainly feels like we’re going backwards here in the U.S. and it’s sad to see already the damage it is inflicting on people. People are not getting the care they need and it is devastating. Thanks so much for reading!

      Like

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