Today, we celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision and celebrate the right to exercise equality in our healthcare choices, our family planning, and our parenting.
The right to safe, affordable, on-demand abortion care without access is simply an empty promise. Increasing restrictions, including the disastrous Hyde Amendment, have created a widening gap between that promise and the reality of care received by those most in need - people of color, rural people, young people, those without economic means. This is especially true in the south where the convergence of closing clinics, higher rates of pregnancy and structural oppression is particularly dangerous.
Daily, we serve those driving 500+ miles and crossing two state lines to access abortion care. We talk with people forced to choose between meals and paying for their abortion. Hotline call after hotline call we hear about the pawning of personal items, concerns about keeping the electricity on, or the water flowing or the panic of a parent without someone to watch their child as they make their way to the clinic. Students who fear not being able to continue their education. Parents whose primary concern is supporting and raising the children they already have.
Just today, volunteers worked with a client coming from out of state, who spent 9 hours on a bus to get here, arrived in Atlanta at 2am, waited for her appointment, had to change clinics, will spend the next two days at the clinic, and then spend 9 more hours post-procedure to get home. For her, a right to a safe abortion was not guaranteed.
“I transported a client dealing with domestic violence from a partner and without the means to support a change in relationship or the trauma of being pregnant by someone who enacted this violence upon her. She was staying at a shelter, was a whole country away from familial support, and in a city she was unfamiliar with.” - Alana, Magnolia Fund transport volunteer
1 in 3 women will need abortion services in her lifetime, that means that virtually every person has someone in their life who has needed this critical care. Our mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, our trans friends and gender-queer partners have utilized this vital service. When we further restrict access to abortion care, we are telling our families and friends, our whole community, that their safety and autonomy is not important to us. Through restriction, we lessen their place in our lives.
We must #ReclaimRoe not because it is politically expedient or because it is a revolutionary and subversive act, but because the lives of people in need of abortions are important to us. The lack of safe abortion care will not eliminate this need, but simply sends us back to a time of suffering and death.
We #ReclaimRoe because the stigma surrounding abortion exposes deep structural inequities related to reproductive care, poverty, and poor health outcomes.
We #ReclaimRoe because we are not ashamed, we are not regretful, we are not traumatized, except by the inequities supported by our government and its ineptitude in caring for all its citizens.
We #ReclaimRoe because everyone deserves access to abortion care, regardless of their location or economic status. We believe that everyone deserves the right and the ability to make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
Today we #ReclaimRoe in order to #StopTheShame for all those who access abortion care but feel marginalized and silenced. We stand with you and lift up your voice.