Civics For Change: Reproductive Justice
Safe, legal reproductive healthcare continues to be increasingly difficult to access and is one of the main issues driving young voters to the polls. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade nearly a year ago, and the aftermath has displayed the reality of this ultra-conservative court’s leadership. Generations after the original Roe v. Wade ruling that declared abortion legal in all fifty states, the fight for access to abortion continues.
This map, created by The Center For Reproductive Rights, outlines the level of access by state, where abortion access is protected or threatened, limited, or removed altogether. In states where access has been restricted, medical professionals are forced to wait as pregnant people suffer for a judge to make a ruling about whether to save the life of the pregnant person or the unborn, even if the unborn would not survive outside of the womb. Abortion is reproductive healthcare.
In reproductive deserts, states where there is little or no access to abortion, a pill called mifepristone has been instrumental for over two decades. Mifepristone is also used to care for patients who are experiencing a miscarriage. Currently, access to this potentially life-saving medication is at risk in the Supreme Court via an attempt to block its FDA approval. The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals began hearing oral arguments this week.
In 1973, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade declared abortion a right protected by the U.S. Constitution. Multiple anti-choice groups, namely The Federalist Society, have attempted to limit access to both abortion and contraceptives ever since. Former President Trump aided the group in their decades-long plan to overturn Roe v. Wade by appointing multiple members as justices on the Supreme Court bench.
The justices who overturned Roe v. Wade last June are the same ones ruling on bans on mifepristone and other contraceptives now. Wondering what can be done? First, you can click here to join the ACLU in urging the courts to maintain mifepristone’s capacity to save and improve the lives of millions as it has for over 23 years. If you are looking to do more in your community, you can volunteer for and support local abortion clinics and abortion funds. Remain vigilant on the state of access to abortion and contraceptives in your state and this ruling. Finally, stay tuned for our final blog on issues you people care about.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mia Matthews is the Program and Communications Manager at The Andrew Goodman Foundation. In her position, she works with student leaders and in communications surrounding their work. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida.