Knowing it was coming doesn’t dull the pain and horror of this week’s bombshell news, first reported by Politico: Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the U.S., is likely to be struck down within months. The ruling will likely lead to abortion bans in at least 25 states, leaving millions of people in abortion deserts.
Illinoisans are lucky: our rights are enshrined in our state constitution, but four of the five states we share a border with have no such protections. Two states, Kentucky and Missouri, have enacted a trigger ban to make all (Kentucky) or very nearly all (Missouri) abortions illegal once they’re free to do so. Republican-controlled state legislatures in Wisconsin and Michigan have passed anti-abortion laws that Democratic governors vetoed; in both states, GOP gubernatorial candidates have vowed to sign such legislation if elected.
In the wake of yesterday’s news, Judith Arcana, writer and member of JANE, the pre-Roe underground abortion-providing Chicago-based collective, says she is focused on the impact the anticipated ruling will have on unplanned children. “Being born into a life that cannot and will not provide, or even allow for, emotional and physical health, is a disaster,” Arcana said.
Megan Jeyifo, the executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF), which supports people in Chicago and the midwest in accessing abortions, said abortion funders need support as they prepare for a post-Roe moment.
“Illinois has a responsibility in this moment: we cannot simply protect abortion access in our state. We must expand it. We need policies that support people’s whole lives,” Jeyifo said. “All people deserve access to abortion care when they need it, on the timeline they choose, and in the community they trust. We will not stop reaching for this vision of abortion justice, regardless of what a court says. Callers to the Chicago Abortion Fund have been living in a post-Roe reality for decades.”
So what now? For many, this is a time of shock and rage; for others, it’s affirmation of what we’ve known all along: institutions do not give us our rights, we take them.
Here are resources for people seeking abortion services, and those who wish to donate to support abortion access:
- Shout Your Abortion — ShareAbortionPill.info: Learn how to find abortion-inducing pills Mifepristone and Misoprostol (you can order them even before you’re pregnant), how to use them safely, and what legal risks you might face depending on where you live, and more. Abortion remains a safe procedure, and as Shout Your Abortion’s website states, “we reject the authority of any governing body to determine whether or not we’re allowed to end our own pregnancies.”
- Chicago Abortion Fund: According to Jeyifo, last year CAF distributed approximately $500,000 for abortion care and wraparound services such as gas, lodging, and childcare. “Illinois has long been a ‘receiving state’ for people traveling from surrounding states,” Jeyifo said. “We anticipate this to increase exponentially when Roe falls this summer.” To access these resources or learn how you can support them, visit their website (also available in Spanish) or call their hotline at 312-663-0338 (open 6 AM-2 PM CT Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; calls are returned within 24-36 hours).
- Indigenous Women Rising: IWR funds abortions for any “Indigenous people in the United States and Canada who have the capacity to become pregnant and [are] seeking an abortion in the United States.” IWR also serves undocumented people. Their abortion fund portal will reopen May 22, 2022: until then, consider making a donation if you’re able.
- Midwest Access Coalition: For people traveling to, from, and within the midwest for an abortion, MAC offers support in the following areas: travel costs and coordination, food and lodging, medicine (excluding the cost of an abortion procedure), and emotional care. To access services, call 847-750-6224 or email email@example.com. You can also sign up to volunteer, or donate here.
- I need an abortion: This website will help you find the nearest abortion provider with three simple questions.
Know of a resource we missed? Email us.