Great preparations ahead of the likely end of abortion rights

(Washington) Odile Schalit prepares for “the worst”. At the helm of an organization that helps American women get abortions out of state, she is “doubling down on her efforts” in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling that could make her services even more important.

Posted at 10:09 am

Charlotte PLANTIVE
Media Agency France

The draft decision of the Supreme Court, which was leaked in early May, had the effect of a bomb: its conservative majority seems ready to accept the “Roe v. Wade” which has guaranteed women in the United States the right to have an abortion since 1973. States then have full leeway to authorize or prohibit voluntary terminations of pregnancy (abortion) on their soil.

The final decision is expected by June 30th. As the deadline approaches, major movements among abortion rights advocates and opponents alike are accelerating in anticipation of what they call “the post-Roe world,” with America split in two.

Odile Shalit’s organization, Alliance Brigid, will fill the gap. And she is preparing for intense currents. “We’re recruiting as much as we can, we’re running awareness campaigns, we’re trying to expand our donor list,” she lists for AFP.

His team now consists of ten employees who organize and finance the monthly trips of around 125 women who have exceeded the legal deadline for an abortion in their state. Odile Schalit has just hired six additional staff to help up to 200 women a month by the end of the year.

But when Roe falls, “we can’t meet everyone’s needs,” she admits.

However, she has recently seen a surge in donations. New Yorkers even organized a fundraiser for the Brigid Alliance by selling cakes. “It is heart warming to see the support that has been expressed since the shutdown plan was leaked. »

“Zombie Laws”

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 22 of the 50 US states, mostly in the conservative and religious south and center of the country, are poised to ban abortion once the Supreme Court reverses course.

Nine have kept in their arsenal laws passed before 1973 to ban abortions that they can revive immediately. Thirteen (four of which also belong to the first group) recently passed so-called “zombie” or “trigger” laws that are dormant but come into force almost automatically if the chief justices change their case law.

In addition, there are four states with texts banning abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. Blocked in court, they can act if the legal framework changes.

Coastal Democracies, where abortion is to remain legal, are therefore preparing for an influx into their clinics.

To deal with this, either Connecticut or Delaware just expanded the number of professionals authorized to perform abortions to include nurses and midwives. California elected officials have released $152 million to support abortion access and the governor of New York has pledged $35 million.

The powerful organization Planned Parenthood, which performs more than a third of the roughly 850,000 annual abortions in the United States, is bolstering the resources of its clinics in Colorado or Illinois, border states that are likely to ban abortion.

” I want to help ”

Ordinary citizens are also getting mobile. As of May 2019, the Reddit discussion forum hosts a group of “aunts” (“Tatas”) who anonymously offer their help to women who want to have an abortion. Membership has exploded from 45 to over 75,000 since May.

“I’m in my 60s, retired and really want to help,” writes a “Tata from Central Tennessee,” offering to transport women from neighboring states.

“That’s great, we’re going to need more hands,” comments Odile Schalit, urging those of good will to turn to structured organizations instead, “so as not to add to the chaos.”

In fact, in recent years, anti-abortion advocates have multiplied “crisis pregnancy centers” where—playing with the ambiguity of their name—they lure women who want an abortion to dissuade them.

Final preparations are being made around the abortion pill, which accounts for half of abortions in the United States today. They are easy to buy on the Internet from websites operating abroad and can be used without significant risk up to the tenth week of pregnancy.

Aware that their existence lessens the scope of their ban, several conservative states are looking for a parade. Kentucky and South Dakota recently banned these pills from being mailed.

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