It's a dark day for reproductive rights following the Supreme Court's decision to officially overturn Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the federal right to abortion. With this reversal, abortion laws are now left it up to individual states to determine whether their residents have the ability to safely terminate their pregnancy and whether providers can perform the procedure without fear of legal persecution.
Prior to the ruling, a handful of Republican-led states already began to chip away at reproductive rights through legislation like Oklahoma's near-total abortion ban and Texas' six-week ban, the latter of which criminalizes getting an abortion before most people know they're pregnant. According to ABC News though, today's decision has now made abortion immediately illegal in four states thanks to trigger laws anticipating this ruling. The Guttmacher Institute has also noted that 26 states are expected to place strict restrictions on or completely ban abortions in the near future, including several ones that also have trigger laws that make abortion illegal within the next 30 days.
However, the past has proven that criminalizing abortion will never stop people from undergoing the procedure. The only thing it does is make the process extremely unsafe and will increase maternal deaths, all while disproportionally affecting low-income and people of color. So with many people wondering what to do now, we've assembled a guide on how to get an abortion and protect this aspect of your bodily autonomy. See what options are available to you below.
Figure Out Which States Protect Abortion
The first step is to figure out whether your state has a trigger law in place using this state-by-state guide assembled by ABC News. As of now, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota have already banned abortion, while more than 20 other states are likely to follow suit within the next 30 days or sooner if their law only requires approval from the state governor, attorney general or legislature.
On the other hand, 16 states and the District of Columbia still allow abortion. These states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. California, Oregon and Washington have also formed a pact to protect abortion access and ensure people from other states can obtain the procedure, with California also set to refuse any cooperation with other states trying to investigate and/or extradite residents for abortion-related prosecution.
Use This Abortion Finder
If your state is anti-abortion, you can still travel to DC or one of the aforementioned 16 states where is it legal, at least for now. Resources like Abortion Finder, I Need an A and the National Abortion Federation can help you figure out where your nearest provider is depending on age and stage of pregnancy.
In terms of covering travel costs, you can check out the National Network of Abortion Funds to find a local chapter that can lend financial support, whether that be for airfare, gas, lodging or childcare. Organizations like the Apiary Collective and the Brigid Alliance can also help you with practical support such as coordinating and paying for these expenses.
Check If Your Employer Has an Abortion Policy or Fund
After leaked documents indicated the Supreme Court would overturn Roe, some companies altered their health care policies to include financial support for employees seeking abortions, whether it be reimbursements for travel expenses or paid time off. Amongst these companies are Starbucks, Yelp, Airbnb, Netflix, JPMorgan Chase, Gucci, Amazon and Microsoft, though you should also check to see if your employer does the same.
Research Access to At-Home Abortion Pills
If traveling out-of-state isn't an option, you may still be able to get a medical abortion or a self-managed abortion, which entails taking a combination of mifepristone and misoprostol in pill form. While the pills do take several days to work, they're also less costly and proven to be very safe, especially if you're terminating early on.
According to the MIT Technology Review, you can start at a website called Plan C, which outlines how to access these pills and what other options you have if your state has banned abortion, including potential telehealth treatment. There's also an Austrian nonprofit called Aid Access that gets overseas doctors to prescribe the pills, which are then mailed to you. This option is even available if your state has outlawed abortion, as foreign doctors are not subject to state law. Just don't cross state lines with them.
Additionally, it's also worth noting that there are related resources for those who choose to take this route, including organizations like the Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline, which can answer any medical questions you may have related to an at-home abortion. On a mental and emotional level, places like Reprocare can also provide counseling and support during what can be a heavy and difficult process.
Photo via Getty / Nathan Howard
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