Our Abortion Stories: “The Word ‘Freedom’ Is Hypocrisy When Women Lose the Right To Control Their Own Bodies”

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. Ms.’s Our Abortion Stories series chronicles readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe.

*Share your abortion story by emailing [email protected], and sign the petition.*

War on Women Report: Roe v. Wade Overturned; FINA Bans Transgender Women; Sexism and Racism at the Heart of Jan. 6 Attacks

The War on Women was in full force under the Trump administration. While the battle may look different today, we are staying vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching.

This week: the United States Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; sexism and racism enter the Jan. 6 Attack hearings; FINA bans transgender women from participating in women’s swimming competitions; and more.

Democrats in Congress Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Fake Clinics and Anti-Abortion Disinformation

On June 23, members of Congress introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation (SAD) Act to crack down on false advertising related to abortion services by “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). CPCs are anti-abortion organizations that masquerade as abortion clinics in order to interfere with access to reproductive healthcare by disseminating inaccurate, misleading and stigmatizing information about abortion and contraception. Despite appearances, most CPCs do not employ licensed medical personnel or provide referrals for birth control or abortion care.

In the House, the lead sponsors of the SAD Act are Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), In the Senate, the bill is led by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “No one should have to question that the person they are seeking medical advice from is actually a doctor or that information is accurate, objective and complete,” said Maloney.

The Supreme Court Clearly Doesn’t Care About Women’s Lives

If we pay attention to those whose lives have already been destroyed by an inability to access abortion, we can see our collective future and the depths the challenges to come. Centering the voices of those who have struggled to get care—even as we recognize the implications of Dobbs on everyone—allows us to predict at least three immediate consequences of last week’s decision.   

Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade

On Friday, June 24, the United States Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for the right to abortion.

The sweeping decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and leaves legal protections at risk for contraception, same-sex marriage and IVF. The decision has allowed abortion bans to go into effect in 18 states.

Senators Introduce Bill To Protect Reproductive Health Data: ‘My Body, My Data’

The digital surveillance threats to women’s reproductive health information are likely to escalate dramatically if the Supreme Court repeals abortion rights. U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) introduced the My Body, My Data Act—a federal law protecting personal reproductive health data by minimizing the information that companies can collect and retain.

“Extreme Republicans across the country aren’t only trying to take away women’s constitutional rights, they want to actually put people in jail for providing or seeking reproductive care,” said Hirono. “This legislation will take steps to protect women’s privacy.”

The Importance of Talking About Women in the Fight Against Abortion Bans

The most powerful argument for abortion rights is to highlight the sex-based nature of these restrictions and argue that they violate equal rights. To succeed in arguing that sex equality requires the right to abortion, we need to be able to talk about how sex shapes access to abortion and how anti-abortion legislators target women with devastating consequences. The elimination of sex-based language in abortion politics makes this argument impossible, and reinforces the long-term right-wing strategy of suppressing information about sex-based disparities.

The Equal Rights Amendment Will Help Protect Abortion Rights

As the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the push to pass the ERA takes on new urgency as an avenue for shoring up women’s rights, especially our reproductive rights.

Polls show massive public support for the ERA. The vast majority of respondents—men and women; Republicans, Democrats and Independents—want the ERA, and most think the ERA is already a part of the Constitution.

Number of U.S. Abortions Increased 8 Percent During Trump Administration, Reversing 30-Year Trend: ‘The Need for Abortion Care Is Growing’

The number of abortions in the U.S. increased by 8 percent during the Trump-Pence administration. Overall, fewer people became pregnant, but among those who did, a larger proportion chose to have an abortion. About one in five pregnancies in 2020 ended in abortion.

This research reveals a dramatic reversal of a 30-year trend of declining numbers of abortion, “underscoring that the need for abortion care in the United States is growing just as the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to overturn or gut Roe v. Wade.”