Extreme abortion bans have passed in Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi, and more are pending in several state legislatures. All are designed to take advantage of the the Supreme Court’s new conservative majority in an attempt to overturn Roe v Wade. Find out how YOU can help support, protect, and expand abortion access.
Republicans are moving at top speed to pass sweeping and extreme abortion restrictions in an attempt to overturn Roe v Wade. Six states have enacted bans on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy (before many know that they are pregnant), including those in Missouri, Alabama, and Ohio that do not have exceptions for victims of rape and incest. So far, none of these laws have gone into effect, thanks to lawsuits challenging their constitutionality. We don’t know which cases will make it to the Supreme Court, but we do know that soon enough one of them will. It’s also important to remember that the anti-abortion laws that most often win out over legal challenges are those that slowly chip away at access, allowing judges to claim that they “don’t cause an undue burden” to those seeking abortions. These seemingly less extreme laws, including requiring clinics to be within 15 miles of a hospital, waiting periods, and parental consent, and those prohibiting abortion procedures like D&C and telemedicine for medication abortion, can actually be the most dangerous.
With more than 300 abortion bans and restrictions introduced in state legislatures in 2019 alone, it’s critically important that everyone pay careful attention to what laws are in place or pending in their own state and work hard to elect abortion rights advocates at all levels of government. At the same time, we can do more to help the effort to protect access to abortion in states that are trying to eliminate it. Here’s how:
Not comfortable talking about your support for abortion access? Get comfortable. We need everyone (yes, men too) to speak out in conversations with friends and family, on social media, in letters to the editor, and in legislatures. Get caught up on abortion facts and the legal background before you start, and then follow these golden rules:
- Be honest and accurate. Focusing on the realities of abortion as a part of people’s lives can counteract stigma and misinformation. Know where to point people who want to learn more.
- Understand the constitutional context. An individual’s right to an abortion is based on almost 50 years of legal precedent. Understanding how the constitution protects all abortion before a fetus is viable helps people recognize how many new laws violate people’s rights.
- Be non-judgmental. Believing that individuals have the right to make decisions about their own bodies means that no one abortion is more ‘justified’ than another.
- Recognize diversity. No two abortions are the same; they occur in a huge variety of different socio-economic and cultural settings, and affect a wide range of people with different experiences and values.
- Avoid stigmatizing language and images. Use medically-accurate terms – like embryo and fetus – and avoid using words or images that perpetuate false stereotypes about how people feel about their abortion.
Support the organizations working to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion:
Support the organizations suing to block state abortion bans:
Support the organizations working in states that only have one abortion clinic left:
The clinics and abortion advocacy groups in your state need your help, especially those that serve people of color, low income people, and the LGBTQ community.
BLOCK ANTI ABORTION JUDGES
The courts are the final firewall against draconian policies, and President Trump and Mitch McConnell are feverishly stacking them with extremist anti abortion judges serving LIFETIME appointments. Pay attention to who has been nominated and who is facing confirmation votes in the Senate, and demand that your senators oppose all extremist and unqualified nominees.
RUN FOR OFFICE
The best way to stop anti-abortion laws is to elect abortion rights advocates at the local, state, and national level. Get trained to run through Emerge America and support those who step up through Emily’s List.
Find trusted up-to-date information on reproductive health at these sources:
The Guttmacher Institute: tracks abortion legislation and policy and conducts research
National Abortion Federation: maintains list of all abortion clinics by state, is the professional association of abortion providers
Women Help Women: offers secure self-managed medication abortion info and support
If/When/How Helpline: offers secure legal information and support surrounding abortion
International Planned Parenthood Federation: global abortion info source
STATES FACING EXTREME ABORTION BANS
Alabama: Enacted 6 week abortion ban this year, without exceptions for rape or incest. It also punishes doctors who perform abortions with 99 year prison sentences.
Florida: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature.
Georgia: Enacted 6 week abortion ban this year. It also punishes those who perform abortions with up to 10 years in prison. This may include people who manage their own medicated abortions, and could impact people who miscarry.
Illinois: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature.
Iowa: Enacted 6 week abortion ban in 2018. It was ruled unconstitutional and won’t be appealed.
Kentucky: Enacted 6 week abortion ban this year.
Louisiana: Passed 6 week abortion ban in the legislature.
Maryland: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature, but unlikely to pass there.
Minnesota: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature.
Mississippi: Enacted 6 week abortion ban this year.
Missouri: Enacted 8 week (really 6 weeks if measured from conception) abortion ban this year.
New York: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature, but unlikely to pass there.
North Dakota: Enacted 6 week abortion ban in 2013. It was ruled unconstitutional and then blocked permanently when the Supreme Court refused to review the ruling.
Ohio: Enacted 6 week abortion ban this year, without exceptions for rape or incest.
South Carolina: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature.
Tennessee: 6 week abortion ban pending in legislature.
West Virginia: 6 week abortion ban introduced in legislature.
Does your state place extreme restrictions on abortion care providers? Find out HERE.
Does your state have plans to restrict or ban abortion if Roe is overturned? Find out HERE.