It Won't Take Us 50 Years
A message from our CEO Jen Gurecki about the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade
The past few days I've wanted to burn things down. Make people pay for what they've done. Destroy lives. Revenge felt right. I know that I wasn't alone, sitting with grief, disgust, and despair as we contemplate what it really means to lose our reproductive rights.
We know that people of color will be disproportionally negatively affected, as will pregnant people living in states with trigger laws and people who are economically disadvantaged. We know that banning abortion doesn't lead to less abortions, it leads to more dangerous abortions (and we already live in a country that has the highest morbidity rate for pregnant people in the entire "developed" world). And we know that this is just the beginning.
This is not simply about abortion. It's about body autonomy. It's about moving freely through society and making decisions about your own body and your own future. That's what is at stake, but only for historically marginalized communities. Resourced, straight, cis white folks don't have a lot to worry about.
That's why the moral and constitutional arguments for overturning Roe v Wade after 50 years of protection (and other civil rights rulings like Griswold v. Connecticut, Lawrence v. Texas, and Obergefell v. Hodges) are either choosing to ignore, naive to, or very well aware of the lived realities of the people who will be most negatively impacted.
If these are all state issues, meant to be decided by the people, then there would need to be mechanisms in place for all people to vote. But there's not; the very same states with trigger laws are also limiting and legislating against voting rights. If it were about morality, we would do something about hate crimes, maternal death rates, and poverty. We wouldn't make abortion more criminal than rape. We wouldn't force pregnancy on rape and incest victims.
Overturning Roe v Wade is not about abortion. It's about maintaining order and a particular way of life in the United States. It is about upholding a cis-gendered, straight, wealthy white society. We should not be surprised by what people in power will do when they believe they are losing their power.
As I continue to process the gravity of all of this decision, I am also trying to hold myself accountable. What would it mean if I acted from a place of hate and helplessness? Would I be any different from the people who attacked our capital on January 6th and from many young men behind violent mass shootings? How can I care for myself so that I can do more than be angry this week? This is going to be a long fight, but certainly it won't take us 50 years to right this wrong. We are powerful, we are strong, we are creative, we are resourceful. They can't take that away from us.
What do we do now? There are very intelligent, skilled people and organizations who have been working on these issues for a very long time. We trust them, we follow their lead, we donate and volunteer locally, particularly to and in states with trigger laws. And we fight today, tomorrow, and every day.
Funds/Organizations Led by People of Color to Support
Funds in States with Trigger Laws
State by State Funds to Support
Organizations Changing the Language, Law, & Landscape of Reproductive Rights:
Information on the legal status of abortion by state: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2022/06/13-states-have-abortion-trigger-bans-heres-what-happens-when-roe-overturned