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2 Years Post-Roe, I’m More Inspired Than Ever To Fight For Repro Rights

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As I reflect on the two-year anniversary of the overturn of Roe v. Wade this month, I have found myself frequently thinking of a speech I heard from Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this year. On the “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, Harris quoted Coretta Scott King to explain how reproductive freedom is a fight that “must be fought and won with each generation.” To me, it’s never been more clear that, for Gen Zers, it’s our generation’s turn to fight

If you’re a Gen Zer, I’m sure you remember the day reproductive rights in the United States were set back decades. On June 24, 2022, the landmark Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade, thus rolling back national protections of abortion access. In the two years since that day, reproductive rights have faced an astounding number of battles, setbacks, and defeats across the United States.

As an activist and civic influencer in the reproductive space, I’ve been dedicating the two-year anniversary of Dobbs to discussing some of the most extreme court cases and legislation that have been introduced since that day two years ago. My efforts serve as a stark reminder of how dire the state of reproductive rights is right now — but I’m also hoping to inspire others to take action and make change in the upcoming election.

I have seen pieces of legislation and judicial deliberations that feel like they were authored by Margaret Atwood from The Handmaid’s Tale. Texas mobilized what are effectively abortion bounty hunters by offering citizens $10,000 for winning lawsuits against those involved in illegal abortions. Florida is forcing victims of sexual violence to provide legal or meidcal evidence they were raped in order to be exempt from the state’s six-week abortion ban. Legislators in South Carolina even introduced a bill to allow the death penalty for abortion (which thankfully hasn’t been passed). On a federal level, the Supreme Court is currently deciding at what point a person’s life is close enough to being at risk to qualify for emergency medical treatment (including abortion). Also terrifying is that the attacks on reproductive care have quickly expanded beyond abortion, with efforts to minimize access to contraception and fertility treatments like IVF.


The world post roe- day 1. We are two weeks from the 2 year anniversary of dobbs, join me as we look at some of the most significant and impactful decicions on reproductive rights since #roevwade #reproductivejustice #feminism #democrat #scotus

♬ original sound – Haley Lickstein

Currently, more than 25 million women ages 15 to 44 — or about two of every five women in that range across the U.S. — live in states where there are restrictions on access to abortion. Fourteen states have a total abortion ban, and people living in some areas of the country, like Florida and Georgia, may have to drive up to 17 hours to access an abortion clinic, making care expensive and often inaccessible to those in need.

The past two years have been filled with seemingly never-ending threats to reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy. For those who believe in reproductive rights, it has been two years filled with anxiety, anger, and fear. But this time period has also seen the emergence of a new generation of activists and leaders in the reproductive space, young people who are dedicated to empowering one another — and getting stronger, louder, and more organized with each passing day. 

This election season, 40 million members of Gen Z are eligible to vote; this includes eight million young voters who have never been of age to participate in the electoral process before. And one thing I know to be true is that young voters have been clear and consistent when it comes to reproductive rights: Every time abortion rights have been on the ballot, the pro-choice camp has won, thanks in large part to politically engaged Gen Zers. Considering abortion is likely to be on the ballot in over 10 states this November, I’m pulling for Gen Z to show up yet again.

Seven years ago, on January 21, 2017, my mom took me to march on the National Mall for the first Women’s March following the election of President Donald Trump. As a sophomore in college, I remember seeing so many older women around me in tears. They knew the fight we were going to be up against with an anti-choice president in charge — but they also raised us to be fighters, and I believe we’re ready for the battles ahead.

Haley Lickstein is a civic influencer and activist. With a focus on reproductive justice, she aims to use her platform to empower young people, especially women, to make their voices heard and get involved in the political process. In partnership with national advocacy organizations and activist groups, Haley hosts and facilitates community building in-person events for activists and creators all across the country to learn how to use their platforms for impact. She is driven to educate and connect young voters to issues and candidates that will drive them to the polls.