The fight for our bodily autonomy has just begun.
Source: Tyrone Turner for NPR
On Friday, June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, just shy of 50 years from when the Court ruled that the right to terminate a pregnancy is a constitutional one. Within minutes of the decision being released, abortion clinics halted their services, staff shared the news with anxious patients in the waiting room and many left burdened with not only unplanned pregnancies but the uncertainty of how to safely end them. Across the country, hearts sank and shoulders were racked with sobs. But tears were soon wiped off and signs were dutifully picked up. Chants of, “Who protects us? We protect us,” grew louder in volume across waves of protestors vowing to never go back to a time where women could not exercise autonomy over their own body.
As Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer wrote in their dissenting opinion, women today have “fewer rights than their grandmothers.” While the draft opinion revealing the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn abortion rights was originally leaked back in May, for many, the reality that the right to an abortion is no longer guaranteed has just set in.
This is a dark moment in history. But we are here to tell you that it will not last forever.
And there is no one way to move through the grief and despair of knowing that those in power want to strip away fundamental human rights from 170 million women. Below, we share what you need to know about this recent ruling, as well as tips on how to transform your anger and fear into impactful action.
Give Yourself the Time and Space to Process
Allow yourself to sit with the anguish and uncertainty that you may have after learning about the end of Roe v. Wade. Before you pick up protest signs or attempt to go about your day as normal, take the time to grieve what you have lost. You are probably angry, and it is okay to hold onto the rage. Anger often gets a bad rap, but it’s actually a good sign because it means that you care about something. And right now, we need as many people as possible to care if we want to once again secure the right to abortion for all. The key is transforming and channeling that rage into direct action and impact.
Read the Fine Print
So what does the Supreme Court decision actually mean? Well, in a 6-3 vote, the Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that the issue of abortion access will now be handed over to the people’s representatives and state legislatures instead of protected across by the board by the Constitution. In states such as Arkansas, Missouri and South Dakota, “trigger laws” will now go into effect and pre-Roe abortion bans may now be enforced. As of now, 13 states have trigger bans, laws that will outlaw abortion immediately now that Roe has been overturned. The New York Times is listing and updating abortion bans in each state through live tracking; you can find the page to check the status of your own state here.
Do the Research and Gather the Resources
Thankfully, there are many resources available online and on social media related to improved contraception practices, abortion pills and ways to seek reproductive health services. You may be overwhelmed with all the available information circulating at the moment, so we listed just a few to get started with below to help out.
Hotlines, Support and Legal Questions: Here’s a post that links helplines and websites that provide emotional support, funding for abortion procedures, and counseling.
Nearby Abortion Clinics: Planned Parenthood provides a map of abortion clinics close to you.
Plan C Abortion Pills: FDA-approved and used to end over 54% of abortions in the U.S. Check out the website to learn more about availability and restriction use in some states.
Digital Privacy and Abortion: Tips on protecting your privacy when researching or receiving an abortion, including suggested period tracking apps and VPNs.
Join the Fight and Participate in Direct Actions
The most impactful thing you can do is to stay committed to the movement for reproductive justice and to continue to engage in efforts to expand abortion access, even when the news cycle around Roe v. Wade has ended.
Below are abortion funds to donate to, organizations to join and links to events around Florida.
Florida Abortion Funds to Support: Instead of donating to large organizations like Planned Parenthood or ACLU, consider chipping in to local abortion funds, which focus on mutual aid and provide resources directly to patients in need.
Find a Rally or Protest Near You: Visit the link to track upcoming rallies and events.
Know Your Protest Rights: Before you head out to a direct action, take the time to review your Constitutional rights as a protestor. Always travel with a group, stay alert and avoid filming or taking photos of protesters’ faces for the sake of their safety and privacy. You can read a more in-depth review of your rights here.
National Women’s Liberation Gainesville: Local chapter that hosts direct actions and educational events on advancing women’s rights and protecting abortion access.
Planned Parenthood Southwest Central Florida: Provides STD testing, pregnancy tests, birth control, transgender care and more.
Tampa Bay Abortion Fund: Provides access, financial assistance and logistical support to individuals needed abortions in the Tampa Bay Area.
Simone Liang is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine and a student at the University of Florida. In her free time, you can find her partaking in grassroots organizing or cutting bangs (happens more often than you think).