As you have likely seen in the news, on the evening of Monday, May 2nd, a draft opinion of the Supreme Court was leaked to Politico, showing that SCOTUS plans to overrule abortion access as described in the landmark case Roe v. Wade.
While this leaked document does not solidify the vote of the Supreme Court, it is an unprecedented piece of information that has mobilized reproductive justice advocates across the country.
The draft opinion could change before being published but the vote among justices will very likely stay the same, changing abortion access as Americans know it. This ruling would put abortion access into the hands of each state government, and in turn, could make abortion either illegal or highly restricted in more than half of U.S. states.
As a result, this limitation could lead to negative long-term health problems, create a deficiency in access that would impact the number of pregnancy-related deaths, and for states that would continue to provide abortions, they would see an influx of patients, consequently overworking medical professionals and limiting who has access to care.
Banning abortion does not reduce abortions, but rather makes them less accessible, and oftentimes, less safe. Our goal — and we believe the goal of most Americans — is to keep one another safe, healthy, and autonomous. (Plus there are a lot of ways to actually reduce abortion rates without banning them.)
Good Good Good is not the authority on reproductive justice, and we do not wish to contribute to ongoing political vitriol. What we do wish to do is combat fear with reliable information — and hope.
This article will offer essential information and resources about abortion access in the United States, direct you to organizations and networks that are helping, and give you a glimmer of hope to turn to when it feels like you don’t have the tools or space to help.
People of all genders need safe and accessible reproductive healthcare. For many, that includes abortion. Although we honor the individual beliefs that make up our country, and acknowledge that many people also personally disagree with abortion, there are circumstances that require abortion to be available without a court getting involved.
The nuance of this issue is staggering, but we know one thing to be true: helpers are showing up to keep people safe, make a better world for children and child-bearing folks to live in, and help individuals make decisions that are best for them.
Here’s how to take action for reproductive freedom following the leaked Supreme Court opinion:
Learn From Experts
Acknowledge that you may have learning to do
Many of our beliefs about abortion have been shaped by political infighting, quippy tweets, or straw man arguments. When we slow down and acknowledge that others carry more expertise than us, it gives us the opportunity to better learn about the data and history of abortion.
Read the Guttmacher Institute’s abortion fact sheet
The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide. Their detailed fact sheet about abortion access in America is a great primer on the issue and outlines statistics barriers across populations. It’s 2.5 pages, includes graphs, and will take you less than 5 minutes.
Take this course about the history of abortion
Sharon McMahon — friend of Good Good Good and America’s government teacher — offers a variety of masterclasses about various topics Americans care about. This includes a course about the history of abortion in America. The course is $12.99 and takes learners through the legal history of abortion — without any shouting or arguing.
Donate To Organizations
Support abortion funds in your state
A grassroots effort that started as a Twitter thread has turned into a widely-shared mutual aid document of abortion funds in each state. Hop onto the Google Doc to find an abortion fund in your community and send your donations there.
If you feel that your state’s funds have strong support, you can consider donating to a fund in any of the following highly restricted states: West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Indiana, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, and Nebraska.
Support Keep Our Clinics
Keep Our Clinics is an organization that supports independent abortion providers nationwide, which are often underfunded in comparison to larger, national organizations. Keep Our Clinics financially assists small, community-based clinics with funding that covers security, building repairs, PPE and hazard pay, legal fees, and community education and advocacy.
Support National Network of Abortion Funds
The National Network of Abortion Funds is on a mission to remove the financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizations at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice. Donations support their educational efforts and financial support of those seeking abortions.
Support The Brigid Alliance
The Brigid Alliance arranges and funds confidential, personalized travel support to those seeking abortion care in highly restricted areas. Their financial assistance and planning services help people traveling across state lines to access abortion care.
Support Physicians for Reproductive Health
Physicians for Reproductive Health is a doctor-led national advocacy organization using medical evidence to promote sound policy and practice. Their trained physicians live and practice in 45 states. They not only provide compassionate patient care, but actively seek to provide evidence-based research to affect policy change.
Support The 19th
The 19th is a nonprofit news organization reporting at the intersection of gender, race, politics, and policy in America. Their coverage of reproductive justice provides critical on-the-ground perspectives across the country. Donations from readers and supporters help power and sustain their mission to provide thoughtful, independent reporting.
Contact your representatives
If you are passionate about protecting abortion access in your state, contact your representatives at the state level and make your voice heard. Find your state legislators and express to them that you want access to abortion protected in your state, since it soon may no longer be protected on a federal level.
Additionally, you can contact your federal representatives and encourage them to support a bill to codify abortion access in all 50 states. You can access their contact information by entering your zip code on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Get involved in local elections
While it can feel discouraging to continuously hear the advice of “just get out and vote,” local and state elections make a major difference, especially when it looks like most states will have the power to decide what happens next for abortion access.
If a candidate in your area shares your values on this topic, see if you can support them financially, by volunteering, or of course — with your vote.
Find your local election office’s contact information, research your candidates, and do your part!
If there’s no candidate on the ballot that resonates with you, perhaps this is your sign to run for office. Run For Something has a variety of resources and tools to get you started.
Have reproductive resources on hand for yourself and others
Medical self-assisted abortions are a safe and effective way for people to access abortion care. At this time, medication abortions are available to people in all 50 states, and they can be administered using mifepristone and misoprostol pills mailed straight to your door.
These pills can be purchased without any proof of pregnancy and can be kept on hand on an as-needed basis. (But please don’t hoard them).
Have contraceptives on hand for yourself and others
Additionally, you can keep contraceptives on hand for you or others. Favor (formerly known as the Pill Club) offers birth control pills sent on a subscription basis, often for free, if covered by your insurance. Favor also has the option to receive emergency contraception (commonly referred to as Plan B) with your subscription.
Keeping emergency contraception (or other forms of contraception such as condoms and diaphragms) on standby can be a great way to support a friend or community member if they cannot access more expensive forms of sexual care.
Share information for people seeking abortions
Finding reliable abortion providers is key in keeping folks safe in their journey to accessing care. Platforms like I Need An A and the National Abortion Federation have directories of abortion care providers available to all.
Having these resources on hand or sharing them on social media is a great way to spread the word and provide resources for someone who may need reproductive care.
Follow Reproductive Rights Leaders on Social Media
Shout Your Abortion
Shout Your Abortion (@shoutyourabortion on Instagram) is an organization and digital community that shares stories of people who have gotten abortions to de-stigmatize and inform others. They are also an excellent hub for abortion resources, and offer mental and reproductive healthcare information for people of all gender identities.
Dr. Marta Perez
Dr. Marta Perez (@dr.martaperez on Instagram) is an obstetrician-gynecologist, assistant professor, researcher, and mom who shares a variety of information about reproductive health. With over 109,000 followers on Instagram, she provides reliable information about abortion — and reproductive healthcare as a whole — straight from the medical field.
Mini Timmaraju (@mintimm on Twitter) is the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America — the oldest membership organization dedicated to fighting for abortion access — and has been fighting for reproductive rights, gender justice, and racial justice for over 20 years.
Jamila Perritt, MD MPH
Dr. Jamila Perritt (@ReproRightsDoc on Twitter) is the president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, a doctor-led national advocacy organization using medical evidence to promote sound policy and practice.
As a physician, Dr. Perritt uses her position to bring attention to systemic inequities affecting access and health outcomes.
Get Inspired By People Taking Action
Meet the abortion clinic escort making her voice heard
Shelley Mann is the escort captain at CARE Reproductive Health, and her job is to get people seeking abortions safely inside their clinics. Protesters — who can become violent — often picket outside of these clinics, and escort teams are there to ensure patients get the care they need with as little harassment as possible.
This doctor travels to South Dakota to perform abortions every week
Minnesota physician, Dr. Sarah Traxler, has spent the last seven years traveling to North Dakota to provide abortion services — making her the only abortion clinic in the state.
“I sort of feel, at some level, if I don’t do it and the other three physicians who do it with me, who else is going to do it? There wouldn’t be anything for these patients,” Dr. Traxler told CBS News.
The lack of in-state doctors and clinics is reportedly due to fear of harassment and potential retribution from hospitals.
South Dakota currently requires a 72-hour waiting period between the initial consultation and procedure — with the same doctor for both appointments.
Though Dr. Traxler and her team frequent the state, they commented that the lack of abortion providers has led to a five-week wait for an appointment.
Nebraska state senators blocked an abortion ban this legislative session
Most interactive maps will show that Nebraska is one of many states likely to ban or highly restrict abortion in the event that the Supreme Court rules against federal abortion access. However, this legislative session, a group of state senators bought some time.
Abortion rights proponents won a surprising victory in April, blocking a bill that would enact a trigger ban in Nebraska, by just two votes. While the debate was strenuous, blocking this bill makes it possible for Nebraskans to access abortion regardless of a Supreme Court ruling, at least until the next Legislative session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Supreme Court making abortion illegal?
The leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court is just that; a leaked draft. The draft itself does not set anything in stone until the vote is published by SCOTUS. However, when the draft is finalized and published, it will overrule previous precedents from landmark case Roe v. Wade.
This ruling will not make abortion illegal, but rather make abortion a state issue, allowing each individual state to create laws and restrictions surrounding abortion. Like we said, we aren’t the experts. Check out this full explainer from the New York Times.
Can Congress pass a law to protect abortion?
The short answer is yes; Congress could pass a law to protect — or “codify” — abortion access nationwide. However, a bill of this nature is unlikely to pass, as the Senate is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, and as demonstrated last year, Democrats struggle to secure success on abortion access.
What do most Americans want abortion laws to be?
According to the Pew Research Center, about six in 10 Americans — or 59 percent — say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.