Roe v Wade At Risk
Last week we learned that the conservatives gunning for Roe v Wade appear very close to their goal. Abortion is health care. And it is our right and yours—no matter what anti-choice people say—to decide whether to undergo an abortion if we’re pregnant and we need one. Beyond the specifics of this procedure, losing Roe v Wade is a strike against privacy rights as well as bodily autonomy—these two things are inextricably intertwined.
Anti-abortion activists have spent 50 years teeing up this moment and using the Supreme Court as well as state governments to do their work. Roe v Wade is a prize in the culture wars, but it is not the only social change we’ve seen since the mid-20th century that is at risk. The principles that gave us Roe also gave us legal birth control, decriminalized sexual conduct (gay and non-marital sex being two of the most notable), same-sex and interracial marriage, expanded trans rights, and much more. It is not only cis women who have a stake in this fight.
Access to abortion can mean life instead of death to some who are pregnant, and can offer life opportunities to others. And even after Roe became law, this access was not equally available to all. Racial disparities and economic status make all forms of health care, and certainly abortion rights, more difficult for many to attain.
Good Vibrations is outraged about this because everything we stand for is on the line in a post-Roe world. We already know we help people understand their sexuality in ways conservative communities and schools would not allow. We see adults who don’t know about the way their bodies (or their partners’ bodies) function. Sex education is part of our mission because almost everyone needs, and deserves, more information about sex than they already have. Sex education is vital to bodily autonomy. It is vital for sexual safety—and for setting and negotiating boundaries. It is important for people of every gender and orientation—including asexual people.
Whether any given person would choose abortion at any point in their lives is not our business. But it IS our business to help people understand their sexuality and their bodies. Along with selling toys and products for people who want more joy and pleasure in their lives, we also sometimes help pick up the pieces that result from poor (or no) sex education and access to birth control. And so we understand firsthand that access to abortion is necessary. Beyond this, we understand that limiting any access to abortion care without making birth control and comprehensive sex and fertility information a universal priority is the height of hypocrisy. These things make abortion less necessary by helping to prevent unwanted pregnancy in the first place! Yet anti-abortion activists do not fight for them.
What can we do? Speak up and speak out! Register to vote! Hold politicians accountable. And donate, if you can, to funds that support abortion rights, especially for those who will be soonest and most gravely impacted by state-level anti-abortion actions and, worst-case, the loss of Roe v Wade.
Some organizations working to support reproductive justice, protect abortion access, and/or get people who need abortions to clinics—people doing this work deserve your support:
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is working to strategically shift the stigma around abortion in our culture. We are committed to fostering open and honest conversations, lifting up all communities, and transforming the abortion care environment. We believe that everyone deserves the dignity and respect to be at the center of their healthcare decisions. That’s why we fight harmful anti-abortion laws. Litigation is an important means of countering laws that present undue burdens on women who seek abortions. https://www.wholewomanshealthalliance.org/
SisterSong is a Southern based, national membership organization; our purpose is to build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities. https://www.sistersong.net/
The Cobalt Abortion Fund provides direct financial assistance to individuals seeking abortion care. Our mission is to work toward reproductive freedom for all people and to provide financial assistance without judgment or question to people who seek an abortion but are unable to pay the full cost. We are committed to working toward a future where no person faces a financial barrier to the care they need. We believe abortion is healthcare and that nothing should between you and your health decisions. We will not stop fighting until reproductive healthcare is completely accessible to everyone. https://www.cobaltaf.org/
The mission of the National Abortion Federation is to unite, represent, serve, and support abortion providers in delivering patient-centered, evidence-based care. https://prochoice.org/
The Center for Reproductive Rights is a global human rights organization of lawyers and advocates who ensure reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights for the dignity, equality, health, and well-being of every person. The organization uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. https://reproductiverights.org/