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We save each other

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Abortion is a Blessing We save each other
Like so many other abortion rights activists, I have been preparing for the end of Roe v. Wade for quite a while. So on Friday, June 24, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, I was not surprised. True, it was a punch to the gut. Yes, I cried. But shocked? Hardly.

After the ruling, one of my friends messaged me, “I guess we live in a Christian society now…” But the truth is, religion has infiltrated reproductive health care for decades. Women throughout the country have been living without abortion access for decades. Christian nationalist legislation like the Hyde Amendment and Conscience Clause, as well as tax-supported Catholic hospitals and Crisis Pregnancy Centers, have made abortion unaffordable and unattainable to marginalized communities for decades. Roe v. Wade has never been enough. And yet, the official decimation of constitutional abortion rights will only exacerbate these inequalities.

We’re already seeing that destruction happen. Just four days after the Supreme Court ruling, seven states have banned nearly all abortions and 17 other are poised to follow suit within a month. In the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s home state of Wisconsin, a pre-Civil War abortion ban is still on the books. As such, legal abortion care is no longer available in Wisconsin; the four clinics in the state closed right after the decision Friday.

By the way, none of these abortion bans is not backed by science or medical expertise. They are purely ideological and based on the cult of Christian nationalism. This is a direct assault on not only reproductive health care, but also on the separation of state and church.

Among abortion rights social media circles, there is a popular  statement going around: “The Supreme Court won’t save us. We save each other.” I couldn’t agree more. We cannot wait for an ultraconservative court stacked with stolen seats to turn the corner and see our humanity. We must do that ourselves and for one another.

How can we do that? By funding abortion, mobilizing with freethinkers, and speaking to our communities about abortion.

• Donate to abortion funds. Abortion funds have been providing systems of care for people seeking abortions for decades. When legislators have failed to provide equitable access for abortion care, abortion funds have been there for them. One such fund is the Women’s Medical Fund of Wisconsin, which was co-founded by Anne Nicol Gaylor, FFRF’s principal founder, in 1972. In her manifesto, Abortion is a Blessing, Anne described the impetus of funding abortion care: “I knew that regardless of how abortion was looked upon, it was infinitely humane compared to the horror of unwanted pregnancies.” Last year the fund supported 1,500 people in receiving an abortion—that was a 30 percent increase from 2020. Donations to this fund are more urgent than ever as people in Wisconsin will have to travel out-of-state for abortion care. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.
• Abortion is a secular issue and a secular nation has no business infusing Christian mationalist rhetoric and ideology into health care laws, including abortion care. I also encourage you to sign up for the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Action Alerts that will keep you informed about ways that you can make your voice heard to your legislators.
• Help get out the vote, especially mobilizing younger Americans to cast their ballots in the mid-term elections. Talk to your community about abortion. The less that abortion is spoken about, the more it is stigmatized. These articles may help you communicate your stance about abortion rights:

Many religious people wait for a god or godlike figure to save them. Freethinkers know that no such savior is coming. We save each other. And the time is now.

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