Honestly, I had no reaction to the SCOTUS leak at first. With the steady erosion of our civil rights and liberties over the past decade, it has been difficult to know how to respond in times like this.
I was curious about the language of the opinion and what the judges based their decision on because — as I’ve learned through my research on suffrage over the past decade — language matters. Lawmakers will take every opportunity to interpret language that gives them even a little leeway to implement their agendas, especially when those agendas involve the expansion of the surveillance state, the criminalization of identities and access, and a chance to exploit and abuse the poor and working people of this country — especially [those] who are black, brown and aboriginal.
Then I was furious. I thought about all the big and small decisions that made Roe vs. Wade necessary in the first place, and all the political calculations that had been used to make this moment – this maneuver – possible. I was also incredibly frustrated with the cover I saw last night. There was so much focus on this as a single moment in our nation’s history, so much focus on fringe cases and so much focus on blaming voters and non-voters. None of these tell the real story of what the end of Roe vs. Wade would mean for our communities.
Like I previously written, The United States’ approach to reproductive health policy in this country has always been guided by eugenics. Lawmakers in this country are obsessed with the idea that families should look or function a certain way. They combine their genocidal politics with policies and practices that make access to comprehensive health care extremely inaccessible and criminally expensive. Reversal Roe vs. Wade is just one more step towards the complete erosion of our civil liberties. Not only will this grant all 50 states the license to completely ban abortions, but it will also allow them to criminalize and otherwise punish the black and brown poor. people — because women aren’t the only people who need access to abortion — to seek life-saving care.
This means that instead of defunding the police and putting money back into our communities, our public funds will go to expanding police services and their mandates, expanding the oversight infrastructure that exists already and to reward militant fascists who threaten the lives of abortion providers, seekers, and activists on a daily basis. We are beyond the “precedent”.
This is the path our country has been following for some time now, and the decision to reverse Roe vs. Wade is just the latest in a series of bad laws, policies, and rulings that make it dangerous to live in this country if you’re anything but white, cishetero, and affluent.
I have worked in politics for about a decade. So first I want to say that there is a place to vote. Thirteen states have trigger bans in place, and yesterday we learned that Republicans are about to launch a nationwide campaign to ban abortions altogether. These fights will absolutely be fought in state legislatures, so if you are interested in supporting people in your communities who need access to care, do whatever you can to bring this fight to those chambers.
This goes beyond a simple vote every two or four years. This means connecting to self-help groups in your community, researching and supporting abortion funds, and making life very uncomfortable for lawmakers who think your life is expendable and your body is theirs and the primacy. law. Now is the time to turn to the people who have been in the trenches on this issue for years and who have put their lives on the line to protect and secure our rights and civil liberties. They know better what is coming.
The last thing I want to add here is that none of these policies or decisions happen in isolation. It’s all connected: rent increases, lack of affordable housing, low wages, increased criminalization of the choices we make every day to live as our most authentic selves — practice vigilance and active solidarity.