To be honest, it’s not looking good out here for the fight for abortion access in the South. The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to dismantle Roe v. Wade, the decision that established our right to safe, legal abortion in 1973. While we wait for their decision this June, all signs point to the Court gutting decades of fundamental rights. Here’s why:
- Conservative justices make up a solid majority on the Supreme Court, including three justices named by President Trump. We have absolutely no reason to believe that any of them will decide to protect abortion rights.
- Abortion is currently banned for most people in Texas thanks to the Court. For nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court blocked laws like Texas’ six-week abortion ban since they clearly violated Roe v Wade. But last fall, the Court allowed Texas’ abortion ban to go into effect. In short, the Supreme Court abandoned the people of Texas by allowing the state to defy previous decisions, and gave the rest of the nation a preview of what they’re likely to do next.
If (or when) the Supreme Court shatters the federal legal protections we have relied on to protect our right to have an abortion, they will likely give immense power to state legislatures across the country to restrict abortion as they see fit.
What does that mean for you? To put it plainly, by this summer, the Supreme Court could give state politicians the green light to control your personal reproductive decisions.
If that wasn’t enough, we know that people already struggle to access abortion even with Roe v. Wade intact as people are forced to navigate a web of medically unnecessary state regulations, pull together funds to pay for their abortion, and travel long distances to a clinic. Since January, states in our region have seen a number of new attacks on abortion:
- South Carolina has introduced Senate Bill 988, a “trigger ban” that would immediately ban safe, legal abortion if (again, when) Roe v. Wade is overturned. What’s more, anyone who violates this law could be charged with murder and face the death penalty.
- West Virginia is fast-tracking House Bill 4004, which would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and mirrors the bill that was brought to the U.S. Supreme Court by the state of Mississippi.
Is there any good news out there? Yes! It’s you. We can and will fight back against these attacks. Here are ways you can take action to ensure that safe, legal abortion is protected in your state
- Contact your legislators. Your representatives need to know that you want abortion to be protected in your state. We know the majority of people in the South want abortion to remain safe and legal. We can’t let anti-abortion extremists speak for us. Tell your own state senator and state representative that you believe abortion must remain safe and legal and politicians should stay out of personal health care decisions. Calling is the most effective method of contacting legislators, so be sure to continue to call until someone answers. Only leave a voicemail as a last resort.
Not sure who represents you or how to contact them? Click here to look up your state legislators. When you call, make sure to identify yourself as a constituent. Many legislators are inclined to ignore communications from people who do not live in the district they represent.
Folks who live in South Carolina: We’re fighting Senate Bill 988 right now, and these four members of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee need to hear from you:
2. Share your story. One of the most powerful ways you can fight back against these attacks is by sharing your experience with abortion. If you have had an abortion, we especially need to hear from you. Sharing our authentic stories and experiences helps destigmatize abortion and reclaim our power. Click here to share your story with us, or send us a short video to [email protected] explaining why you fight for reproductive freedom.
3. Share your support for safe, legal abortion on your own social media pages. The more your own followers see widespread support, the more likely they are to speak up, too. Keep the message simple like: “I stand with Planned Parenthood,” and “I support safe, legal abortion.” You can also tell your own story about abortion.
4. Join us at Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic. We have many opportunities available to our supporters and volunteers. You can also volunteer to be a patient greeter at a Planned Parenthood health center. Greeters provide patients with a friendly, reassuring face when arriving for an appointment and assist them with entering the building for their appointment. Click here to sign up.
5. Donate to local abortion funds. Right now, abortion funds on the ground are doing the important work of making sure people are able to access abortion, can travel out of the state to obtain an abortion, and more. Here’s where you can donate:
- Carolina Abortion Fund (North and South Carolina)
- Palmetto State Abortion Fund (South Carolina)
- Holler Health Justice (West Virginia)
- Blue Ridge Abortion Fund (Virginia)
6. Follow Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic on social media and help amplify our messages. The more people we reach, the more power we have.
This is a red alert moment for sexual and reproductive rights. We need your help to fight back against these attacks on abortion. We’re counting on you to help us protect abortion rights, and we hope you will join us