Hard to Believe It's Only Tuesday: the SCOTUS Leak Week
Here's what happened in abortion news + takes this week.
Last Friday, I went out for after-work drinks with my husband — who’s also a journalist — and the conversation turned, as it inevitably does or perhaps always already is, to the sheer amount of shit to keep up with these days. Simultaneous terrifying and crushing realities, overlapping and oppressive, never enough time to cover and consume and come to terms with it all.
So why not assign myself some more work, lololol? A few beers in, I joked: Okay, twist my arm, I’ll start writing a weekly newsletter post rounding up abortion news.
Then the leaked Supreme Court draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization dropped in Politico on Monday night and what hell had not already broken loose … broke loose. It’s been the biggest week for abortion news since the Whole Woman’s Health decision came down in 2016. Twenty-six states are certain or likely to ban abortion when/if (when!) Roe is overturned.
And thus I give you “Hard to Believe It’s Only Tuesday,” my little sub-substack about what’s happening in abortion news right now. Starting today, I’ll compile a weekly digest of what I think are the most essential reads on abortion, including some good tweets and takes, and try to keep my personal hollering to a minimum. Let’s do the thing.
The Top Headlines
Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, leaked draft shows (Politico) — Did you somehow miss this? Bless your heart. Start here.
Oklahoma governor signs Texas-style abortion ban into law (NPR) — by “Texas style,” they mean that the Oklahoma law also contains a bounty-hunter-for-abortions provision that allows private citizens to sue for $10k or more if they think the law’s been violated. The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to temporarily halt the law pending a legal challenge. Researchers have found that after Texas enacted its six-week ban, about half of Texans who were able to travel out of state for care were heading to Oklahoma, and Oklahoma providers were already feeling stretched to their limits accommodating those patients. So now our whole geography down here is extra fucked.
Louisiana Republicans advance bill that would charge abortion as homicide (WaPo) — a bill that would criminalize abortion care is moving its way through the Louisiana House; it still needs action from the full House, the Louisiana Senate, and Gov. John Bel Edwards’ signature. (Bel Edwards is a Democrat but has supported anti-abortion efforts in the past.)
Our Abortion Stories (Elle) — the magazine features five members of Congress who’ve publicly shared their abortion stories, to wit, the ones “perhaps most qualified to discuss the issue—because they’ve been there themselves.”
Limited abortion access could threaten women’s role in the economy (Marketplace)— reproductive oppression fucks with people’s ability to get and keep jobs, and to support their families.
The “original sin” of the religious right (Slate) — anti-abortion politics are not rooted in religion; in fact, the fight against abortion rights started with right-wingers hoping to protect segregation in schools.
Your phone could reveal if you’ve had an abortion (WaPo) — digital hygiene 2022!
The fight over abortion rights is a Black issue (Capital B)
Tina Vasquez in Prism: “There is nothing more holy in the world than choosing if, when, or how you create a family, which is why abortion is one of our most sacred rights. I am certain that I have a life I could have only dreamed of as a young person—one devoted to family, community, and storytelling—because at 19 I was able to access abortion care that changed the course of my life.”
Roxane Gay in the New York Times — “I do not know where this retraction of civil rights will end, but I do know it will go down as a milestone in a decades-long conservative campaign to force a country of 330 million people to abide by a bigoted set of ideologies. This movement seeks to rule by hollow theocracy, despite our constitutional separation of church and state. The people behind this campaign do not represent the majority of this country, and they know it, so they consistently try to undermine the democratic process.”
Rebecca Traister in The Cut — “So no, where America finds itself is not in a world transformed by Donald Trump. Rather it’s one in which generations of Republicans have been open about their brutal aim, while Democratic leaders have repeatedly asked voters to trust them in a fight that, up to the very night Roe was struck down in draft form, they refused to accurately describe or perhaps even discern.”
Christine Grimaldi in Self — If you’re looking for hope, here it is. Christine Grimaldi talks to repro justice advocates who have been thinking about the end of Roe for decades, and who have some innovative ideas and solutions for a post-Roe future wherein both the law and abortion access are reimagined.
Soraya McDonald tweets an essential thread connecting capitalism, enslavement, white supremacy, and abortion — including white women’s historic role in deriving wealth and legitimacy from enslavement and forced birth.
Laurie Bertram Roberts tweets reminding us again, for the eleventy millionth time, that nobody needs to reinvent the wheel when it comes to abortion funds and practical support, the wheel is rolling and has been for a long, long time, thanks to women and trans folks of color.
Imani Gandy tweets about those “Black genocide” claims: “The maternal mortality rate for Black women nationally is 3 times that for white women and in Mississippi, it’s 75 times worse. So in reality, abortion bans are actually Black genocide.”
There were many good dunks on one of the New York Times’ resident dip-ass anti-abortion talking heads, Ross Douthat, who tweeted that he thinks it’s “Worth noting that in the 50 yrs since Roe, men have become less likely to find a spouse, less likely father kids or live with the kids they father, and less likely to participate in the workforce.”
Chanda Prescod-Weinstein: “They’re also more likely to tweet stupid shit because Twitter exists now. I guess that’s also because of Roe.”
Mike Drucker: “‘Roe v. Wade made men like me unfuckable’ isn’t the argument you think it is.”
Mike Boylan-Kochin: “In the 4 years prior to the Roe vs. Wade decision, there were 6 crewed landings on the Moon. Since the decision: none. I think the conclusions we can draw are straightforward and inescapable.”
The Fuck Are We Supposed To Do About It?
Sign up to learn about self-managed abortion (that means abortion care that happens with limited or no clinical supervision) in the “How to Be an SMA Buddy” training on May 21 from Plan C, feat. the M+A Hotline and If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice.
Abortion rights groups are planning a massive protest on May 14 — A bunch of national organizations are planning nationwide marches on 5/14, with “anchor” events in, inexplicably, none of the 26 states that are expected to ban abortion when Roe falls. Welp dot gif.
Buy some abortion gear and wear the shit out of it in public! Check out the swag from Avow Texas, Yellowhammer Fund (bonus, this one’s a Matt Gaetz dunk), Preterm Cleveland, Texas Equal Access Fund (I love those FUCK ABORTION BANS shirts), National Network of Abortion Funds, Tampa Bay Abortion Fund, Midwest Access Coalition, Missouri Abortion Fund, heck just check out the whole abortion search on Bonfire, wear nothing but abortion swag forever
Find your local abortion fund, donate, and follow ‘em on social so you know where the action items and volunteer opportunities are: abortionfunds.org
That’s all for this week! I’m sure I’ve missed something you’d like to see featured in this roundup, for I am but one woman with a computer and an abortion-news-induced drinking problem. Holler at me — firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM me on Twitter, and I’ll try to add follow-ups as I’m able.