This article was adapted from the original which appeared on the Columbia School of Social Work website.
Dr. Anindita Dasgupta shares five key strategies to turn the tides on reproductive injustice.
Roe v Wade has been overturned. We knew the decision was coming, but that doesn’t take away the pain the official decision will cause. This devastating decision will not stop abortion or reduce unintended pregnancies in the United States. Rather, it will restrict access to safe abortion, which will disproportionately and negatively impact Black and Brown birthing people.
What Overturning Roe v. Wade Would Mean
By leaving the decision on whether or not to restrict or ban abortion to states, the Supreme Court is granting permission for states to control the reproductive autonomy of their residents. Essentially, this will force millions of people into either birthing a child or risking their lives to obtain unsafe abortions. The anticipated state restrictions and bans will target communities of color who already have disproportionately poor access to safe and comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare due to centuries of systemic racism.
Social workers will be vital in supporting access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare. In addition to access to basic abortion services, this support must include mental health and substance use services and navigation of criminal legal systems.
In a moment when it might feel like there is nothing we can do to protect our Constitutional right to safe abortion, it is important we stay as active as possible, and focus our advocacy efforts to help those most impacted. Here are five things you can do right now to explicitly support the reproductive health and rights of Black, Indigenous, People of Color due to the Supreme Court decision:
1. Join Planned Parenthood’s Bans Off Our Bodies campaign and be prepared to mobilize immediately.
Check out the Mobilization Map to find ways to join national plans for immediate calls to action and mobilization the day of the decision (June 24th). There are options for both virtual and in-person events. If you attended Bans Off Our Bodies rallies on May 14, keep up the conversations with your network and make a plan with your community to take action. Sign Planned Parenthood’s petition to urge politicians to protect abortion access
2. Know (and share) the facts. Abortion is a medically necessary and safe component of comprehensive reproductive medical care, and the vast majority of Americans are in support of upholding Roe v Wade.
The anti-choice movement has progressed their agenda by spreading misinformation about abortion. It is imperative that the facts about abortion are broadcasted everywhere. Here are credible (and digestible) sources of information that can be shared easily. Check out websites, but also social media (Twitter, and Instagram), since these groups share more regularly on social media platforms.
- Guttmacher Institute
- Center for Reproductive Rights
- Supreme Court Blog – go directly to the source of information as decisions will be passed down through the Supreme Court. Use social media to tweet directly at the Supreme Court, to hold Supreme Court Justices accountable.
3. Support organizations in need.
Here are some ways to support (financially and otherwise!) organizations providing services. Prioritize organizations in states that will most immediately and severely be impacted now that Roe v Wade is overturned, with special preference for organizations primarily serving BIPOC communities.
- Financial support – do’s and don’ts
- Do support organizations that specifically advance reproductive justice and focus on reducing racial inequities in abortion access for Black communities (see list below).
- Do not support corporations providing funding to anti-abortion politicians/funds. While it may not always be financially easy to divest from such corporations, putting pressure on them through social media and writing them directly may help them stop donating to anti-choice causes.
- Sign up for and share information from organizations’ newsletters, social media, and websites. Engagement with broader audiences often help organizations show wide client bases to funders.
- Volunteer in-person or remotely. Organizations are often looking for support to package materials, follow up with patients, or research topics. (Planned Parenthood and NARAL have specific calls out already for volunteers; other organizations might respond if emailed directly).
- Check out CSSW’s own Reproductive Justice Initiative (RJI) through the Action Lab! This student led-organization recently raised over $700 for BronxReBirth through a bake sale. Check out the group’s Instagram page for updates on organizing activities!
4. Share AbortionFinder and INeedanA across your networks.
Advocacy agencies across the U.S. are working to amplify these agencies connecting Americans to comprehensive, safe, and verified abortion providers across the country.
5. Elect pro-choice candidates to office.
Legislators will continue to introduce legislation offering some protections to states now that Roe v Wade is overturned, and it is important pro-choice politicians are in office to vote in favor of these bills. Check out the organizations below to help ensure pro-choice candidates are elected across the U.S.
- NARAL: Pro-Choice America – state specific events to help elect pro-choice leaders
- Higher Heights for America PAC – national organization dedicated to electing Black women into political positions across the country.
- Planned Parenthood Action – this is the branch of Planned Parenthood that specifically focuses on to mobilizing everyone.
Organizations to support
If the Supreme Court rules to overturn Roe v Wade, there are 13 states with laws already on the books that will be triggered to outright ban or heavily restrict abortion almost immediately (“trigger bans”). Organizations in these states that prioritize serving communities of color will be hit the hardest. Below you will find a list of organizations by state (in order of priority) that are focused on promoting reproductive justice among BIPOC communities. If you are looking for a national organization with strong accountability – especially around racial equity, consider supporting the National Network of Abortion Funds.
- South Dakota
- The Afiya Center
- Repro Power Texas (Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Avow Texas, Texas Equal Access Fund, and West Fund)
- North Dakota
National Reproductive Justice Organizations/efforts: