On Tuesday, we all learned that the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court decision set to rollback reproductive rights, abortion access specifically, was in fact likely to happen during this session. With no regard for the needs of sexual assault and rape survivors, those who face life-threatening situations, or the many other reasons why somebody might choose to end a pregnancy, the total disregard by this court for the right to bodily autonomy and integrity is a threat to all of us.
By now you’ve read the analysis of how the same principles upholding privacy rights that support Roe v. Wade are fundamental to the legal construct – as well as societal norms and values – to everything from access to birth control, same sex marriage, and more. We also cannot ignore that the right to safe and equitable reproductive rights, including abortion, is not only a matter of public health but also a gender equity and racial justice issue.
Let’s be clear: overturning Roe is another in a long line of attacks on Black and brown people, on indigenous communities, on immigrants, on low-income people, on LGBQTiAA++ people, and others who are already marginalized and at risk of poor access to safe, affordable, and appropriate health care. And the decision of what to do in the event of an unwanted/unintended pregnancy as a result of rape or in the context of domestic violence should not be politicized.
JDI has always had a pro-choice position and will continue to advocate vigorously for comprehensive approach to reproductive justice. Here’s how you can help:
- Support legislation that supports survivors. While we are fortunate that the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation supports the Women’s Health Protection Act, we will support efforts on the national level to pass this critical piece of legislation. Add your voice: https://actforwomen.org/
- Get ready to mobilize. We will share information on social media regarding activities planned for May 14 and other efforts here in Massachusetts.
- Share information with your friends and colleagues about why abortion rights are survivors’ rights. Recently our partners at the Victim Rights Law Center hosted a forum on the topic “When Rape Results in Pregnancy.” You can watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuomUCLylNA
- Become familiar with options such as Plan C and other medical abortions though sites such as: https://www.howtouseabortionpill.org/
- Support abortion funds that help provide access for those who cannot afford an abortion or to travel to a state if they cannot access one where they live. Find out more here: https://abortionfunds.org/
- Talk to an advocate at a rape crisis center about your options so you can make the best decision for yourself. To find a program near you, use this search directory at: janedoe.org/findhelp.