We Won’t Go Back, and We Won’t Back Down

In a violent, misogynistic attack on the lives, health and autonomy of abortion-seekers and providers, multiple states have taken extreme steps to ban and criminalize almost all abortion procedures.

I’m joining feminist leaders from across the country in condemning these bills—because I know that they will directly harm women, girls, transgender and non-binary people, and particularly poor people and communities of color.

(Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons)

This morning, Missouri’s Republican-led House voted to ban almost all abortion procedures after eight weeks of pregnancy, potentially imprisoning abortion providers for at least five years. Earlier this week, Alabama passed a near full ban on all abortion procedures, including in cases of rape and incest, and criminalized providers with a maximum of 99 years in prison. Last week, Georgia passed a law that bans abortions after six weeks—before many people even know they are pregnant—and imprisons providers for up to 10 years.

While the bills in Alabama and Georgia have been signed into law, the Missouri bill is on its way to Governor Mike Parson’s desk—who will also likely sign it into law.

Just this year alone, over 300 abortion restrictions have been introduced in state legislatures around the country. These bills, though, are some of the most cruel and extreme measures we’ve seen yet—designed to control the reproductive choices of our communities and keep people in poverty.

They are also unconstitutional.

This wave of extreme state abortion measures is a direct attack on Roe v. Wade, and the ultimate goal of the lawmakers proposing them is seeing the conservative Supreme Court majority reverse the historic decision. The so-called “pro-life” legislators behind these bills are demonstrating the depth of their hypocrisy by drafting and passing measures that will most certainly lead to the loss of lives.

Now is the time to act. Donate to independent abortion clinics and funds that make abortion accessible for all patients. Keep an eye on your state’s legislature, and push for forward-facing protections. Call Governor Parson from Missouri and demand that he reject HB126.

People’s lives are being put on the line for the sake of a callous political agenda. We must refuse to back down.

Take Action: Join the #WeHadAbortions Campaign


Eleanor Smeal is president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and publisher of Ms. For over five decades, she has played a leading role in both national and state campaigns to win women’s rights legislation, including the Equal Rights Amendment.