Last night, while many of us were preoccupied by the Met Gala looks clogging our feed, something historic was happening at the Supreme Court. The justices privately ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a draft majority opinion of the ruling that was written by Justice Samuel Alito, then leaked, and later published by Politico.
While just a draft, and not an official decision—since the New York Times notes that Supreme Court justices occasionally change their minds during the writing of opinions—many legal observers are treating the leaked document as a foregone conclusion. A formal ruling would be a huge blow to reproductive rights in the US, stripping the nation of a federal constitutional right to abortions that’s been in place for over 50 years, and allowing states to make the call on restricting or banning abortions.
It comes based on the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi law banning abortions at 15 weeks, which was argued before the court in December and expected to reach a decision this June. Trump appointees Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh—along with Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Alito—secured a conservative majority to uphold the case, which would directly oppose the Roe v. Wade ruling.
If the court overturns Roe, the decision signals a devastating shift that would curtail abortion protections for those living in Republican-controlled states—particularly people of color (who face the worst maternal mortality rates in the country) and those who cannot afford to travel to receive care. The Guttmacher Institute predicts that at least 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortions. That includes states with prior abortion bans already in place before Roe v. Wade, and others with “trigger bans”—like Kentucky and Louisiana—that would immediately work to outlaw abortions once the Roe decision no longer applies.
President Biden issued a written statement today saying that “if the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November,” as the ruling would come on the cusp of midterm elections.
As we’ve previously reported, activists are also supporting calls to state representatives in places where Democrats have the power to make abortion services more accessible, like California’s recent law requiring healthcare plans to offer full coverage for care.
In the meantime, what we know is that abortion funds can use all the financial support they can get right now. Donating to an on-the-ground clinic or dedicated abortion fund helps provide resources to people living in states where access to abortions is limited and increasingly threatened. That can range from funding the actual procedure itself to transportation and lodging, which is becoming more and more imperative as people skirt laws in their home states to secure a safe abortion elsewhere. Below, some tangible ways to take action.
Funds That Support Abortion Care Across State Lines
National Fundraiser: If you want to simplify your choices, The National Network of Abortion Funds has organized a fundraiser that splits your donation between more than 80 different abortion clinics spread across state lines. You can also customize amounts if you have preferences.