On June 24, the Supreme Court’s verdict in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 federal case that legalized the right to safe abortions nationwide. Thanks to unenforced pre-Roe bans and trigger laws, which ban abortion based on Roe’s overturning, that right is now completely eradicated or threatened in 26 states.
Americans knew this outcome was likely — on May 2, Politico leaked a Supreme Court draft opinion indicating so — but the anticipation couldn’t soften the blow. As hopeless as this moment may seem, there is a way forward. You can help make it happen through a variety of steps. Below, find small, medium, and large action items to get you in the fight for reproductive rights, no matter your schedule, income, or current emotional state.
Small Actions To Fight For Abortion Rights
Do Your Research
Read up on medication abortions, the history of abortions, and the reverberating impact of Roe’s repeal. If you’re partial to fiction, check out this list of novels that accurately portray the nuance of abortion.
Talk To Friends & Family
It’s easier to understand the gravity of this decision when it’s explained by someone you love. Not sure where to start? Check out the ACLU’s guide to discussing abortion at the dinner table.
When you add your name to lists like this one from the ACLU, you not only pledge to defend abortion rights — you’ll also be contacted with ways to take further action. Other organizations, like Planned Parenthood, format their petitions as open letters that will be sent to politicians.
Follow Advocates & Organizations On Social Media
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this ruling, which is why it’s helpful to learn from a diverse variety of perspectives. Here are six advocates on TikTok to get you started. Meanwhile, organizations like the National Network of Abortion Funds, SisterSong, and NARAL Pro-Choice America use Instagram to convey a breadth of information surrounding abortion.
Sign Up For Text Alerts
Organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU offer text alert services that keep subscribers up-to-date on the state of abortion rights and how you can help. Some elected officials have created similar SMS subscriptions, which you can find on their official website.
Medium Actions To Fight For Abortion Rights
If you have the means, contributing to local abortion funds and other relevant organizations could be the most important way to act right now. Consider giving to those catering to particularly vulnerable groups, like Sueños Sin Fronteras, which provides reproductive aid to immigrants in Texas regardless of legal status.
Share Others’ Stories — Or Your Own
As more people come forward about their experiences with abortion, the topic becomes less taboo in public discourse. When you see someone open up on social media, consider amplifying their words with a repost, or even cite their anecdotes in your next discussion with friends and family. But remember: Those who have had abortions should never feel forced to discuss them.
Advocates and abortion rights groups use social media to publicize protests across the country. Another great way to find them is through the ACLU-backed initiative We Won’t Go Back, which created a regularly-updated map of pro-choice protests in every state. Familiarize yourself with your rights before you go, and don’t forget to pack water and snacks.
Post Accurate Information
Not all online activism is created equal. Before you repost that cute graphic, do some independent research on its statements (Google is your friend). And remember: Female-identifying people aren’t the only ones affected by this issue.
Share Important Resources
Use your social media presence to highlight tools like the Repro Legal Helpline, a group of attorneys and advocates helping people navigate laws around reproductive health. Another site, I Need An A, uses your age and location to provide you with customized abortion options. Tell your followers about Plan C, too — it’s a comprehensive guide to all things abortion pills.
Large Actions To Fight For Abortion Rights
Local organizations all over the country are in need of clinic escorts, researchers, and more. If COVID-19 infection is of major concern to you, consider joining Planned Parenthood’s network of virtual volunteers.
Fundraise For Local Organizations
Facebook and Instagram’s charitable giving tools make raising money easier than ever. Plus, if you have a skill or hobby to monetize, you can always donate your proceeds.
Contact Local Officials
It’s not a catch-all fix, but these are the people who will decide whether to enforce the Supreme Court’s ruling in your community. It’s never too late to ask your district and state attorneys not to prosecute pregnant people. The public database My Reps makes it easy to find emails and phone numbers for the appropriate officials in your area.
Ask Your Boss To Support Employees’ Abortion Rights
Check out this helpful guide for asking for your workplace for abortion assistance in the form of paid time off, travel cost reimbursement, and employer-provided insurance coverage. If you face push-back, why not bring your coworkers on board with a petition?