The Supreme Court has officially overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that recognized the federal constitutional right to abortion. This means it just got a lot harder for people who need abortions to get them. We want you to have some additional context about why this decision is so significant, how it could impact your family, and what resources are available to those who are seeking more information.
More than half of people who get an abortion have already given birth at least once, so it’s understandable that parents especially may feel a range of emotions about this decision: anger, fear, worry, despair, confusion, or a combination of all of these. Take the time you need to process the news and take care of those you love—and please try to stay hopeful. Understanding these laws is an important part of our own healthcare and family planning needs.
Just as we tell our kids, it’s ok to be sad, upset, or scared. It’s ok to wonder how this is going to impact you as a parent, how it will affect your kids one day, and what it will mean for other people in your life who will need to make reproductive health decisions.
Whether you want to know how to join the fight for abortion access, you’re wondering how to talk to your kids about the Supreme Court decision, or you or someone you know needs an abortion right now, continue reading for more resources and information.
What can I do if…?
I need help talking to my kids or family about abortion.
Ways to get involved
I want to donate money.
National Network of Abortion Funds: NNAF is a network of over 80 abortion funds across the country. They help remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion by helping pay for the procedure or covering transportation, childcare, and other expenses for people who have to travel to get an abortion.
State and Local Abortion Funds: Search this NNAF resource to donate directly to your local abortion fund. These funds provide the same support as the national organization but in a specific area.
Keep Our Clinics: Small, community-based clinics provide 57% of abortions but often lack the support and fundraising power of nationally known health centers. The Keep Our Clinics campaign provides funding to independent clinics to cover tangible expenses like increased security, building repairs, legal fees, and community education and advocacy.
I want to go to a march or rally.
Bans Off Our Bodies Map: Find a rally for abortion access in your area. This resource is presented by Planned Parenthood, but not all events are affiliated.
I want to volunteer.
Become a Practical Support Volunteer: Practical Support Organizations provide logistical support to abortion seekers. There are many local and regional PSO’s that may be seeking volunteers to train.
All-Options Hotline Training: The All-Options Talkline is a national line that supports people in all of their pregnancy experiences, including parenting, abortion, adoption, miscarriage, infertility, and everything in between. Volunteers are required to complete 30 hours of training and, once accepted to the team, commit 12-15 hours per month to answering calls on the Talkline.
I need an abortion.
Ineedana.com: Find vetted, up-to-date and personalized info on how to get an abortion. No user data is saved.
Plan C: Updated information about how to find and use medication for self-managed abortion, including medical and legal resources.
M+A Hotline: A confidential, private, and secure hotline for people in need of support for self-managed miscarriage or abortion.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Supreme Court ruling:
What happened? What does this mean for my family?
The Supreme Court has issued a decision in a case known as Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that effectively overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that established a federal constitutional right to abortion. This means individual states will now decide whether abortion is legal.
26 states could now quickly move to ban abortion, leaving more than 36 million people without access to abortion care.
The 26 states most likely to move to ban abortion are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Of those 26, 13 have trigger bans that could go into effect immediately or within days. Two states, Texas and Oklahoma, already have citizen-enforced abortion bans in effect.
We know this can be very hard to keep track of so we suggest taking a look at this map from the Center for Reproductive Rights that explains the laws that will take effect following the Supreme Court’s decision.
If you or someone you know are pregnant and unsure about what to do, All-Options Talkline is a national line that supports people in all of their pregnancy experiences, including parenting, abortion, adoption, miscarriage, infertility, and everything in between.
It is still possible to get an abortion even if your state has banned abortion. If you need abortion care but a clinic is not available in your state, go to www.ineedana.com to get up-to-date resources and potential alternative options. You can also go to www.plancpills.org for information on self-managed medication abortion, depending on how far along your pregnancy has progressed. Abortion funds are available to help cover the cost of travel and of the procedure. Go to https://abortionfunds.org/need-abortion/ for more information.
Reproductive justice groups across the country will be mobilizing to solidify abortion access in states where it’s possible, prevent other states from banning abortion, and help people who need abortions access them no matter where they live. You can sign up here to get reproductive justice action updates from ParentsTogether.
How did this happen??
It’s important to understand that while Roe protected the federal, legal right to abortion, access to life-saving medical care and family planning resources have been under attack for a long time! For many people, especially those in communities that do not have the resources or infrastructure investments to have necessary access to essentials including reliable healthcare and political representation, Roe was already too little to ensure families across our nation were set up to truly thrive.
Restrictions on abortion began soon after Roe was decided and include the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal Medicaid money from paying for abortions, and countless state laws that set up huge and intentional barriers to access, like 72-hour waiting periods, mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, and targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP) laws that made it impossible for some clinics to keep their doors open. These restrictions have harmed Black, Latino, and Indigenous people most, and these communities stand to lose the most now that Roe has been overturned.
Black leaders created the Reproductive Justice framework over 30 years ago to address these disparities and expand the conversation about reproductive rights beyond abortion to include the context in which decisions about having or not having kids are made. This way of talking about and working toward reproductive freedom recognizes the history of sterilization in marginalized communities, that there are often more barriers for people of color who want to parent, and that systemic and institutionalized oppressions impact everyone’s experiences.
Reproductive justice organizers and organizations have been doing the work of funding abortion, destigmatizing the procedure, and helping patients navigate restrictive laws to get the care they need for decades. While doing this necessary work, reproductive justice organizers have also been preparing for Roe to fall for a long time and will continue to be the backbone of the movement to protect and expand abortion access.
How are abortion rights related to other rights??
Many parents are understandably concerned that this decision, which takes private family decision making out of the hands of those who are pregnant and instead hands it to state governments, is just one of many harmful cases the Supreme Court will consider in coming years.
Aziza Ahmed, a law professor at the University of California at Irvine told Mic.com, “There’s a direct connection between the gerrymandering politics we see … the effect of that is going to be that conservative laws on abortion will be more readily passed, and not because people in that state actually want it, but because of essentially rigged voting rules that have produced an outcome of a conservative state legislature. If Roe is overturned in the actual opinion, these two movements are now linked fundamentally.”
Many of the same conservative politicians who are restricting abortion access are also speaking out against rights for LGBTQ kids, actively censoring books in schools and libraries, attacking public school teachers and education funding, impeding healthcare access in lower income communities, and refusing to address environmental hazards which are making families sick.
Over the coming weeks and months, ParentsTogether and many other groups who advocate for policies that protect kids and families will be supporting legislative policy protections and expansions for abortion rights, gay and trans rights, and voting rights. Sign up here to get more information on these upcoming actions and ways you and your family can get involved.
Dealing with school closures, childcare issues, or other challenges related to coronavirus? Find support, advice, activities to keep kids entertained, learning opportunities and more in our Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic Facebook Group.
For ongoing updates on coronavirus-related issues and questions that impact children and families, please find additional resources here.