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Roe v. Wade Overturned: What to Do Today, in 5 Days and in 5 Months from Now

Though the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade comes as no surprise since the leaked Alito draft, there are few words that can adequately express the reality of the devastation. We now live in a nation where, per NPR, “For all practical purposes, abortion will not be available in large swaths of the country.” And the repercussions don’t end there. As Jia Tolentino pens for The New Yorkerwe are entering an era not just of unsafe abortions but of the widespread criminalization of pregnancy. What does this mean for birth control, IVF, medical privacy or, in light of Justice Clarence Thomas's opinion, other rulings like same-sex marriage? There are so many questions and so much fear and so much anger. But where to channel that rage? Here’s what you can do today, in five days and over the next five months in the fight for reproductive justice.

What to Do Today

Be angry. Be sad. Read the think pieces that give you chills down your spine. Share them with your group chat. Let the shock absorb as you binge The Kardashians. If sitting with your thoughts is too much, pack that rage up and bring it to a protest. Follow the Twitter tag #BansOffOurBodies and head to We Won’t Go Back to find one near you. Whether you find yourself in a flock of like-minded people who support the same mission or curled up on the shower floor crying, remember the feeling of today. Preserve it. Fold it up like a paper crane and keep it with you, tucked in your pocket. You will need it

What to Do Over the Next 5 Days

1. Wake up 
It's not time to give up hope

2. Find a protest or rally
Take yourself out of the social media echo chamber and connect with real people fighting the same fight as you. Sign up to volunteer at the next protest. Exchange numbers with someone who lives on your block or whose kids go to the same school. Do something real that will help you break ground and become part of the movement so that you continue to show up.

3. Donate your money: 

  • To key elections: Abortion is now a state-level issue. There are must-win elections in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, Kansas and Pennsylvania that will threaten abortion access. Donate to campaigns in these key elections, and share the link with friends and family.

  • To abortion funds: These grassroots networks work to remove financial, logistical, cultural and political barriers to abortion. In other words, one of the best ways to help people access abortion is through abortion funds. Your gift will be split between more than 80 funds.
  • To Black-led organizations: To quote the ACLU, “Today’s decision is a gender, racial and economic justice catastrophe with deadly consequences. Women and people who can become pregnant have been forced into second-class status. The impacts will fall hardest on Black women who already face a severe mortality crisis.” Donate to orgs like National Birth Equity Collaborative, Sister Song Reproductive Justice Collective and Black Mamas Matter.

4. Contact your elected officials in Congress about expanding the Supreme Court

Urge them to bring the Judiciary Act of 2021, which would add four seats to the court, taking it from 9 to 13 justices. You can donate to this cause through Take Back the Court.

5. Create an abortion plan—or help someone create theirs

Download the free template from Abortion Access Nashville so you can plan for the unexpected. The AAN guide takes you step-by-step through considerations like transportation, financial plans, clinics, etc.

6. Learn about safe, at-home abortion and your abortion rights

For you or someone who could use the info down the line (or ASAP), head to Repro Legal Helpline to get real legal advice on your specific abortion questions, especially in light of the new Supreme Court decision. Also, take some time to learn more about self-managed abortions from Plan C, an information campaign with a mission to increase abortion access by normalizing the self-directed option of abortion pills by mail. Even if you cannot get pregnant, these are important resources to know about and be able to share.

What to Do Over the Next 5 Months

Remember that paper crane you tucked away in your pocket? Take it out as a reminder that there is work to be done. Mitch McConnell has all but promised a nationwide abortion ban if Republicans win the Senate. There are 137 days until the 2022 mid-term elections. So, get crackin’.

  1. Make sure you and everyone you know is registered to vote!
  2. Donate to and elect Pro-Choice Democrats
  3. Donate to and elect Democrats who will end the Senate filibuster
  4. Donate to and elect Democrats that support expanding the Supreme Court. As Elizabeth Warren notes, court expansion is neither new nor radical—it’s been changed seven times!
  5. Wash, rinse, repeat

This isn’t over. See you at the polls.