By Jessica Garraway, Opinion Writer | The Metro Scoop Student Newspaper
This is the opinion section of the paper, so let me give my blunt opinion: I am mad. Damn mad. On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the right to an abortion as a matter protected under the Constitution. Multiple states had trigger laws in place to overturn abortion if and when Roe v. Wade was overturned. Millions of women, transgender, and non-binary people are set to lose access to abortion across the country. States like Minnesota, which still have abortion accessible, are poised to be flooded with women in need of abortions from states where it has been made illegal. We are returning to an era where women in crises sought back-alley abortions, with many dying in the thousands.
The reality is that those who have the least access to money and privilege are being impacted. Women of means can afford to travel out of state to get abortions. So yes, I am mad as hell. And so are millions of people in this country. When the Supreme Court decision was leaked, protests sprung up across the country. At one rally in Minnesota, 19-year-old Elena E. had this to say when hearing about the leaked court decision:
“I was devastated… I spent the whole day crying. I couldn’t believe that we were going back to a time when we didn’t have the same rights as we should have. If men got pregnant, we wouldn’t have this problem. We’re lucky enough to live in Minnesota right now, where we have people who will fight for us, but there are states that don’t have that. So, we need to fight for people all over the country for their rights to do what they want to do with their bodies.”
That was over a year ago. I think many of us in states like Minnesota, where recently sweeping legislation protecting abortion legislation was passed, feel safe. That, I argue, is false security. The Christian right is not going to stop until they implement their anti-abortion agenda all throughout the country. Weak candidates like Biden for 2024 make their ascension ever more likely. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” simply is not going to cut it. What we are going to need is a grassroots, bold movement that refuses to play by the rules.
There are modern examples to follow. In Mexico, women have been gaining access to abortion state by state. Efforts to restrict abortion access were met by feminists with fierce street protests. In Poland, women engaged in huge mass strikes in 2020 regarding severe abortion restrictions. While restrictions still stand, they made a big impact on shaking off the power of the Catholic Church on national politics. Domestically, groups are organized to break the law by providing abortion pill networks across the country. In the 1960s, groups like the Jane Collective created an underground abortion network before Roe v. Wade was decided on in the Supreme Court. Today, groups like Jane’s Revenge engage in property destruction and resistance against targets that advance restricting people’s access to abortion. The history, past and present, of reproductive health resistance is a story of bold, daring, and at times illegal action.
Fascism is not defeated by-elections; it is defeated by directly confronting fascism. While legal avenues still exist in states like Minnesota with groups like Planned Parenthood and Unrestrict Minnesota, the time may come when such avenues are not available to us. So, we better get ready.