The news last week about Roe v. Wade was disheartening, yet unsurprising. Here are some reminders about abortion access and exercising the right to choose.
1. Not everyone who would exercise their right to choose identifies as a woman
Much of the discourse I have seen online has been echoing that this is solely a women’s rights issue. While many of those who will be affected are women, it should go without saying that not everyone that has a uterus identifies as a woman. Make sure that your activism and outrage includes everyone that will be affected.
2. Abortion is currently still legal in Virginia
Abortion is still legal in the state of Virginia. It will likely stay accessible in Virginia if Roe v. Wade is overturned, yet legal protection will be lacking. If abortion becomes a state discretionary issue, it is important to note that Virginia is flanked on all sides where abortion would become nearly impossible to access.
3. If you are a cis, white woman from a state where abortion will likely stay legal, put your money where your mouth is
I am so tired of seeing the Handmaid’s Tale comparison, when that has been the reality for trans, Black and brown bodies since this nation’s inception. There are populations that are already criminalized simply for the color of their skin, sexual orientation, etc. and the overturn of Roe v. Wade will disproportionately affect these populations. Donate to one of the many abortion funds in the state of Virginia if you can. I donate monthly to the New River Access Abortion Fund, which provides financial support to people seeking abortions in the Southwest region of Virginia.
4. You can not want an abortion for yourself and still be pro-choice
I saw a great analogy the other day. Say someone hates the color blue. It would be unfair of them to go around saying that no one else could wear blue because they don’t like it. That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? Personal preference shouldn’t impact what other people can do with their bodies.
If you are reading this as a pro-life individual, I want to remind you that you can be pro-life for yourself but I encourage you to look outside of yourself and your own beliefs. You would still let other people wear the color blue, wouldn’t you?
5. Abortion is routine, medical care
Outlawing abortion will not stop them, it will only stop safe and medically monitored abortions. People should not have to have something traumatic like sexual assault happen in order to be able to exercise their right to choose. If we base medical care on worst-case scenarios, that only further stigmatizes the issue.
We have to support one another and stay alert. Don’t back down, collegiettes.