Roe vs Wade Has Been Revoked. What are Your Options?
I’ve spoken to women today who are sad and angry at this newest assault on our rights. I would like to think that if we have learned anything from the past two years of the pandemic it would be resilience.
My grandmother’s generation was all about resilience. Resilience in the face of blatant racism (which is resurging), KKK terror, sundowner towns, poverty and little or no education. That generation had a number of phrases that addressed tough times. ‘Make lemonade out of lemons’. ‘One monkey don’t stop no show!’. ‘We will make don’t do’.
Instead of lamenting what has been lost (for now), let’s look at what women can do to protect themselves under existing conditions.
Protect Yourselves and Your Friends
If you go out partying with a group of women, try to keep the group intact. Don’t let your inebriated friends go off with guys they just met. They can get the man’s phone number and call the next day when they are sober.
Don’t drink anything you haven’t seen poured and don’t leave your drink unattended. If you suspect you have been roofied and sexually assaulted, get the morning after pill (Plan B) as soon as possible.
If you are raped or have unprotected sex, get the morning after pill as soon as possible.
Think Carefully About Where You Attend College
If you were planning on attending college in a state where abortion is now illegal, you might reconsider. If not, have a contingency plan in place in case you are raped, or experience an unplanned pregnancy, so you can terminate any resulting pregnancy as soon as possible.
These following states are expected to maintain the right to an abortion, and many are working to expand access to the procedure by requiring insurance to pay for it and increasing the number of abortion providers:
Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Taking pills to end a pregnancy accounts for a majority of abortions in the United States, both legal and not. Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, medication abortion will play a larger role, especially among women who lose access to abortion clinics.
What is medication abortion?
It’s an F.D.A.-approved regimen of pills that women can take at home. The approved protocol includes two medications. The first one, mifepristone, blocks a hormone called progesterone that is necessary for a pregnancy to continue. The second, misoprostol, brings on uterine contractions.
About half of the women who get legal abortions in the United States (and three-quarters in Europe). During the coronavirus pandemic, medication abortion became more common because patients wanted to avoid going to clinics in person, and a change in federal law made it easier for them to get prescriptions via telemedicine.
Is it effective, and is it safe?
Yes on both counts.
In U.S. studies, the combination of these pills caused a complete abortion in more than 99 percent of patients, and was as safe as the traditional abortion procedure administered by a doctor in a clinic.
“Some people still assume we’re talking about something dangerous or done out of desperation, but increasingly this information is becoming more mainstream,” said Abigail R.A. Aiken, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin who leads a research group there on medication abortion.
Read more about medication abortion, including illicit distribution that may become more common in states that ban abortion.
Lastly, vote in November! If you have the time and resources, assist with voter registration and/or drive people to the polls. If you want a Congress that will address issues important to you instead of chasing soundbites and Instagram likes, you will have to get involved in the voting process. This battle is not over and there is no need to give in to despair.