This Is the First Roe v. Wade Anniversary Where There Is No Roe

For the first time in 50 years, we aren’t celebrating having a constitutional right to abortion. 

That’s because the Supreme Court took it away. Without basis or facts or anything but pure personal opposition to abortion.  

And it hurts. 

But I’m going to be honest with you: Roe was never able to live up to its promise. Right from this day 50 years ago, anti-abortion extremists broke every rule and played every card to gut our right to abortion…long before they managed to actually overturn it.  

In the past half century, lawmakers have passed paternalistic law after paternalistic law meant to tell you that, no, you aren’t in control of your future, your destiny, or your bodily autonomy. You aren’t a full participant in our society. You are less. 

They forced providers to lie to patients about what an abortion actually entails… made pregnant patients wait up to 72 hours to access care…and targeted clinics with ridiculous regulations—like your hallway has to be a certain size, and if not, we’re shutting you down. 

On top of that, they had no qualms denying young people access to abortion, or making it impossible for people with low incomes to get abortion care covered by insurance—hoping (really, knowing) they wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. 

If it all feels like a setup, that’s because it was. Lies, burdens, and barriers all tryingand in many cases, succeedingto deny people access to abortion.  

Does this sound like a world we should yearn to return to? Of course not.  

So, what am I getting at?  

Yes, it was gutting to lose Roe. As a lawyer who believed in the rule of law, something shifted inside of me after that decision. I woke up to the realization that, really, there aren’t rules. There are just those who are in power.  

In some ways, however, that realization was freeing. Because it means we can make up our own rules. And we can build something new that’s better than what has come before. A future that guarantees abortion care is available, accessible, and affordable for everyone, without barriers, stigma, or judgment.  

Now, I’m not going to pretend that processand restoring our federal constitutional right to abortionwill be easy.  

Because the battle for a new future for abortion access runs through our larger fight for our democracy and for justice. As the same extremists who took away our right to abortion are the same forces attacking racial, immigrant, gender, and economic justice. 

The task at hand is huge—but surmountable, so long as each one of us plays our part.    

You can start by making monthly donations to an abortion fund or local clinic, supporting locally-based and robust free press, fighting attacks on voting, and strengthening worker power, just to name a few. These are all actions that help build around our communities’ needs and uproot systems built on bigotry—supporting those most impacted by racist and sexist systems.  

And these actions will get us one step closer to achieving a new and better future. 

A future where all of us can live with dignity, freedom, and equality.  

A future where we all have control over our own bodies. 

A future with abortion always.