Will NC be the first stop on a new underground railroad?
Its impact will spread far beyond Mississippi’s 15-week abortion law. By renouncing Roe and Casey (and decades of other abortion cases that relied on those decisions), the decision permits states to implement far more restrictive abortion laws. Mississippi itself has indicated that it will enforce a different state law, passed in 2007, that prohibits virtually all abortions, except to save the life of the mother or in cases involving rape. A dozen other states have passed similar legislation, known as “trigger laws” because they were drafted to go into effect if Roe and Casey were overturned. An analysis by the Guttmacher Institute predicts that 26 states are likely to ban all or nearly all abortions.
By now everybody reading this is already aware of the Court's ruling. While the anger and frustration will be with us for a long time, we need to start looking at practical measures, strategic measures, that will provide as much assistance to women as possible. As you can see from the map, North Carolina (and Virginia) will soon be the Southeast's only option for women seeking an abortion. But many of them are going to need help accessing that right:
"Right now, we need resources as we continue to gear up for the surge of people seeking abortion care from states where abortion is going to be quickly banned," says Jackie Dilworth, director of marketing and communications for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a non-profit abortion provider operating clinics in several states. "The negative domino effect of these trigger bans is imminent, so we want to be in a position to help as many as possible."
The best form of immediate action is to donate, according to Dr. Deb Risisky, Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator in Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University.
Access Reproductive Care-Southeast or (ARC Southeast): Supports southerners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee by providing funding and logistical support to ensure safe reproductive care, including abortion services.
Kentucky Health Justice Network: Helps those seeking abortion with financial assistance, transportation, and more. They also host workshops on reproductive justice to spread awareness.
Whole Woman's Health Alliance - Stigma Relief Fund: This fund helps those who cannot afford to pay for an entire abortion on their own. The Virginia-based group also helps fight the stigma of abortions.
I've noticed several friends posting memes about "Camping," and pledging assistance to get there. I dig it, but I'll go you one further: bring them into your homes. In most cases we're only talking about a day or two, letting them stay in the guest room (or foldout couch). If you do AirBnB in your home, then you are already set up to do an occasional pro-bono. Long before we had Internet or even telephones, activists were able to organize and operate a network of travel routes and safe houses to assist slaves fleeing from authorities.
Imagine what we could do now.