For the first time in nearly fifty years, a woman's Constitutional right to choose is in serious jeopardy. A leaked draft opinion written by the right-wing of the U.S. Supreme Court has all but confirmed their intention to overturn both Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the two legal precedents that form the basis of the Constitutional right to an abortion.
While we here in the TMDC can count ourselves lucky to reside in a state where the right to choose is all but enshrined in our own constitution, it is important to remember how devastating the loss of that right could be to so many people throughout the country. In a joint statement following the unprecedented leak, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that “[i]f the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans." According to the Guttmacher Institute, "58% of U.S. women of reproductive age - 40 million women - live in states hostile to abortion rights", and "[i]f the U.S. Supreme Court overturns or guts Roe v. Wade, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion".
So what can we do? What actions can we take to stop such an egregious attack on fifty years of codified law? How do we stand up to the extreme right-wing of this country?
There are countless organizations that can use our support, and not knowing which to choose can be overwhelming. The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom is a fantastic resource of information. Their affiliation with a huge number of healthcare providers and support organizations makes the CCRF a perfect place to help you focus your financial contributions.
Nothing is more detrimental to the fight for reproductive rights than ignorance and misinformation. We must take the time to further educate not only ourselves on the benefits provided by organizations such as Planned Parenthood, but we must also reach out to our families, friends and neighbors, no matter their political leanings. Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in support of a woman's right to choose. Write an op-ed advocating for the right to comprehensive and easily-attainable health care of all kinds. Reach across the dinner table, across the street, across town, and across party lines. When done with compassion and truth, this can be our most powerful tool.
Like everything else in our political system, everything starts with our votes. The more pro-choice candidates (like Marissa Wood!) we can support and elect to any office, the more likely we are to advance our position at a local, state and federal level. Without a strong progressive democratic presence in all three, our words and dollars can only go so far.
Make your voice heard through non-violent protest. Multiple organizations like the Women's March are planning coordinated, massive, nationwide events on May 14th, and we encourage everyone reading this to join these protests, or organize your own!
It is perhaps most important to maintain positivity in the face of all this uncertainty. Despite this most recent threat, the Court has yet to make an official decision. Though it is dwindling, we still have time to show how crucial reproductive rights are to a healthy and thriving United States.