Feminism seeks solutions to preserve access to abortion in the US.

The prospect of abortion being banned in the conservative half of the US has forced the feminist movement to organize and seek solutions to preserve as much as possible access to that rightespecially for the poorest women.

This Saturday marked the 49th anniversary of “Roe versus Wade”, the decision of the Supreme Court that since 1973 has forced allow abortion in the country until the moment of “viability” of the fetus outside the womb, a limit that is now around 23 or 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The United States could return to a similar situation in the middle of this year, when the highest court is scheduled to rule on abortion: Everything indicates that the judges will impose new limits on this right, and it is possible that they will annul the precedent set in 1973.

We know that the Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is going to strike down ‘Roe (versus Wade)’“Said Sharmin Hossain, the campaign director of the Liberate Abortion coalition, in an interview with Efe.

If that happens, each state in the country will be able to decide how it regulates abortion, and 26 conservative-leaning territories are expected to take steps to restrict or ban it altogether, according to the Guttmacher Reproductive Health Research Center.

“Changing the culture surrounding abortion”

That perspective forces the feminist movement to accept that it has to “work together” and bridging the divides between large and small organizations, between those led by white women or those of racial minorities, Hossain explained.

Whether or not abortion is legal, we will always fight for access (to that service) and we will find ways (to provide it)”, added the activist.

Liberate Abortion, the coalition to which Hossain belongs, brings together “more than 125 organizations committed to reproductive rights,” from large national groups like Planned Parenthood to small funds that help finance abortions for poor women, she explained.

Under that umbrella, groups want to think about how “change the culture that surrounds abortion” in the country, to “de-stigmatize” it and make it “accessible and affordable” for the entire populationAlthough it takes time to achieve it, he added.

‘Roe’ (the 1973 decision) was never enough. Did not protect people of color, black people, or indigenous people“Opined Hossain, recalling that many conservative states approved abortion restrictions like the recent veto in Texas, which have disproportionately impacted those populations and the poorest.

For the White House and other national groups, the solution lies in the approval of a law that guarantees the right to abortion at the national level, but Hossain and other activists acknowledge that “there are not enough votes” in the Senate to carry out this measure.

On-the-ground solutions

Against this background, the movement pins high hopes on the possibility of increasing access to abortion medication, which is legal in the United States up to 10 weeks of gestation.

Last December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted its ban on mailing mifepristone abortion pills, which allows patients to request them in a virtual medical appointment and receive them at home, without the need to see a doctor in person.

But this resource is not a panacea either: in 19 states, abortion telemedicine consultations are prohibited, and authorities in those areas may pass legislation to further restrict access.

In practice, many women who live in conservative states and want an abortion will have to consider traveling to territories where abortion is legal, which is expensive and it can take days, which may be impossible for many poor women.

That will likely be the case for many patients in Ohio, a state that passed a total abortion ban that will go into effect if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 decision and where clinics are already thinking about how to help those people seek help outside the condition.

In this time of crisis, it’s heartening to see our movement coming together to think about how we can support people“, the executive director of Preterm Ohio, Jen Moore Conrow, told Efe.

that clinic in Cleveland (Ohio) is the largest in the state, currently serving about 5,000 patients a year and is considering what to do when the Supreme Court decision arrives: Whether to close its doors or reinvent itself to “help people get where they need to go” for abortion, Moore Conrow explained.

While, Planned Parenthood, the largest network of reproductive health clinics in the country, is “increasing its investment” in the resources so that these patients can travel and “expanding access” to telemedicine abortion, according to the organization’s president, Alexis McGill Johnson.

“Even though this is a dark time, people are making it very clear that they want abortion access in their communities,” McGill Johnson told Efe.

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