We – like you – are horrified and outraged that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, ending the federally protected right to abortion.
As dozens of our writers have shown since Nursing Clio was founded in 2012, pregnant people have always sought to regulate their own reproduction and to end pregnancies. As our writers have also shown, when abortion is criminalized, people suffer – and low-income, immigrant, and women of color disproportionately so. They struggle to feed their families and afford housing. Their educational and career goals are hindered. They endure painful and psychologically damaging pregnancies and deliveries. Their individual agency as citizens and as human beings is limited. And they die.
Joining in the long tradition of Americans working, fighting, and sacrificing to protect the right to abortion, Nursing Clio voices our profound opposition to this unjust decision. We’ll do our part by continuing to publish and support historical research on reproductive health and women’s history, and we hope you’ll do what you can using the following resources and suggestions.
What to Do
A post-Roe world is a new world. We’re not returning to some point in the past; we’re facing an uncertain future. The first step to facing that future is organizing networks of mutual aid.
The problem is huge, but the solutions to reproductive injustice have always been local and practical. Here are a few things you can do right now to protect yourself, find support and create it for others.
- Learn about the existing networks for abortion care and reproductive justice in your area.
- Reach out to the people around you. Who is in need? Who is ready to fight? Organize a network of mutual aid and care.
- Support your local providers. Reproductive justice advocates and abortion providers have been harassed, attacked, and even murdered since 1973 as they did the work of ensuring people had the ability to exercise their freedom of choice.
- Consider volunteering as a clinic escort.
- Look up your state’s laws (and don’t forget insurance laws). Understand how they could affect you, how they could affect others, and how they could change as the situation continues to develop.
- Educate yourself on the history of abortion and of antiabortion ideologies.
- When you search for help or options on the internet, always use a private or “incognito” browser mode, and delete your search history after.
- Consider removing menstrual cycle tracking apps from your mobile devices.
- Solidarity helps. Want to go out and protest? We’re sure there’s one happening within driving distance over the next few days/weeks.
- Live in a state with a Republican senator whose seat is up for election in November? They need to be flipped. Thirty-four seats open in November, and we need real advocates for reproductive justice in all of them. Find out how your representative and senators have voted. Fund campaigns, canvas, and endorse candidates with a proven track record of supporting reproductive justice. How did your representative vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act? How did your senators vote when the bill got to the Senate (where it died in May)?
How to Get an Abortion
As of June 24, 2022, abortion is still fully legal without restrictions in nineteen states. In states including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Utah, and Colorado, abortion is legal but comes with restrictions – there may be insurance restrictions, or parental consent requirements, 24-hour waiting periods, or required counseling before someone is allowed to obtain an abortion there. Mississippi, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, Alabama, and Wisconsin have trigger laws that could outlaw abortion in the near future. And in Arkansas, Texas, South Dakota, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma, trigger laws are already in effect that ban all abortions.
If you live in a state where abortion is still legal, keep any reproductive healthcare appointments. If you live in a state where the right to abortion has been struck down, keep these resources in mind.
- Save a link to this massive abortion resource kit, which includes instructions for self-managed abortion care along with educational materials and opportunities to engage in activism.
- You can buy Plan B emergency contraception on Amazon to keep on hand. (Be aware it loses effectiveness for those over 150 pounds, and it is generally only effective in reducing the risk of a pregnancy in the first 72 hours after you have sex.)
- There are safe medication abortions available. It is possible to safely self-manage a medication abortion like Plan C at home. For guidance on how to safely manage an at-home medicated abortion, call the M & A Hotline at 1-833-246-2632.
- You can also access abortion pills at Aid Access, Carfem, and Lilith Care.
- Keep “INeedAnA.com” written down somewhere private. It will help you locate a clinic near you.
- Learn how to access an abortion fund for yourself or someone else who may need it.
Where to Give
One of the most practical ways to support abortion rights in the United States is to donate to abortion funds. Take a look at your budget and evaluate how much you can devote to making abortion care a practical reality for those who lost that right today.
Support those in trigger law states and states that have already banned abortion. Through Act Blue, you can choose which funds you distribute your donations to. @helmsinki has compiled a list of abortion funds by state. Or donate directly to the following organizations:
- Indigenous Women Rising raises and distributes funds to aid indigenous people in the US and Canada in getting abortions. Donate.
- The Massachusetts Abortion Rights Fund offers tips on how to safely search for abortion online, lists of resources, and provides financial aid for abortion services.
- The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom, which helps fund abortions.
- The only abortion clinic in North Dakota is raising money to relocate across the river in Minnesota, a haven state.
- The Justice Empowerment Network of South Dakota raises money to help fund abortions.
- The Fund Texas Choice supports those who need abortion in Texas.
- Mountain Access Brigade supports TN, and works with orgs in LA, WV, AL, MS, NC, VA, KY, and GA.
- The Yellowhammer Fund provides reproductive healthcare for people in Alabama, as well as Mississippi and the Florida panhandle.
- Missouri’s trigger law is already in effect. You can donate to the Missouri Abortion Fund, which will continue to help individuals afford abortions out of state.
- The New Mexico Coalition for Reproductive Choice raises money to help offset transportation, lodging and meals for those seeking abortions.
If you have suggested resources that you’d like us to add to this post, please email us.
NC Essays about Abortion:
- Michelle Moravec, “What Feminists Did the Last Time Abortion Was Illegal”
- Amanda Brennan, “Abortion Rights and the Racist Origins of Having It All”
- Sarah Pripas, “Coat Hangers and Knitting Needles: A Brief History of Self-Induced Abortion”
- R.E. Fulton, “Mail-Order Abortion: A History (and a Future?)”
- Gillian Frank and Ronit Y. Stahl, “The Miseries and Heartbreak of Backstreet Abortions: Before and After Roe”
- Madeleine Ware, “‘Our Moral Obligation:’ The Pastors that Counseled in Pre-Roe South Carolina”
- Karen Weingarten, “Abortion Out West: An Interview with Alicia Gutierrez-Romine”
- Jacqueline Mercier Allain, “The Anti-Abortion Politics of White Women”
- Lauren MacIvor Thompson, “Abortion: The Archive Doesn’t Lie, but Republicans Do”
- Cara Delay, “‘No-Tell Motels’: Abortion in Pre-Roe South Carolina”
And because The Personal is Historical:
- Karen Weingarten, “The Collective Power of Our Abortion Stories”
- Carrie Adkins, “An Imperfect Abortion Story”
- Ginny Engholm, “The Pain of Choice: Late-Term Abortion and Catastrophic Fetal Diagnoses”
- Justina Licata, “How To Be a Reproductive Justice Clinic Escort”
- Shannon Withycombe, “My Story of 20 Weeks”
May I add that whenever possible, use the language of “forced pregnancy” to describe what particular states are doing or considering doing. The ultra-extremists have created a national conversation which framed this as either there was abortion or there was no abortion, when the reality is that we are now entering an era in which people — including children — will be forced to be pregnant. That may seem to be a matter of semantics, but it explains why other democracies (including Mexico, Ireland, etc.) have moved to increase access while only authoritarian regimes (Poland, etc) have moved to end access. Let’s make it clear exactly who is doing what to whom here: governments are forcing children and adults to be pregnant. And that ought to be intolerable to all Americans.