It’s been a rough week for women’s reproductive rights this past week. Between SCOTUS’ responses during the hearing on the Mississippi case and then the 5-4 decision written by Justice Gorsuch in the Texas case, the right to an abortion is getting curtailed.
But by no means does this mean that there isn’t anything we can do. Here are 3 things we can do immediately.
Help the immediately affected
Right now, there are women who want an abortion who cannot get one, and this will only get worse if SCOTUS decides that the Mississippi law can stand. (That decision is expected in June.) First and foremost, I encourage you to learn more about abortion pills, and share the information on a regular basis.
Planned Parenthood has a helpful FAQ that you can find HERE.
Plan C helps connect you to abortion pill providers and information about relevant rules in your state.
It’s also important to remember that expecting a child is a key risk factor for domestic violence either beginning, or escalating. Consider supporting your local shelter, which you can find at the National Domestic Violence Hotline website.
Push on Congress
Remember back in your civics classes when they talked about the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), and how we have the three branches in order to have checks and balances? Well, a decision from SCOTUS isn’t the end of the line. Congress can write a new federal law that enshrines access to abortion for everyone. And that, is exactly what the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) aims to do.
In the words of Act for Women, “WHPA would create a statutory right for health care providers to provide abortion care, and a corresponding right for their patients to receive that care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and impede access.”
It’s passed the House already this year, so now it’s up to the Senate to pass it. So please, take 2 minutes to call both of your Senators and tell them to take up this bill in the Senate as soon as possible.
Focus on the states
If SCOTUS decides to essentially allow Roe v Wade to go by the wayside, the decision as to whether or not women have access to abortion will fall to each state legislature. So I cannot stress enough how important it is for each of us to get active in our own states on this issue.
I get it — folks who are in super blue states or folks who are in super red states end up paying attention to, and helping out, the more competitive swing states when it comes to elections, but folks, we MUST ensure that we do everything possible to make sure every one of the 50 state legislatures cannot end our rights.
How do we do this?
By 1) making sure the Democrats have the majority, or 2) making sure the Democrats have the majority in at least one of the two state legislative chambers, or 3) make sure we elect a Democratic governor who can veto a bill coming from a GOP legislature, and 4) make sure that GOP majorities don’t have a super-majority which allows them to override a governor’s veto.
Check out your state’s partisan control in the legislature HERE. It’s high time Democrats and left-leaning Independents pay more attention to what’s happening in their own backyard! The vast majority of state legislative seats will be up for re-election next fall and so the time to get organizing is now.
Thank you for taking action!
Thank you for reading Political Charge! In the coming year, I’ll be focused on winning the 2022 midterms, pushing positive Democratic messaging, and bringing some relief in the form of good news and cartoons. If you’d like to support my work, you can do that at my Patreon page!