|Even without Wednesday’s Fifth Circuit ruling restricting access in the mifepristone court case, which for the time being changes nothing as the lawsuit winds its way through the federal courts, the past month has been a mixed bag of joyful and hellish news.
In Ohio, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have marked the end of popular democracy in the state by raising the threshold for enacting constitutional amendments, like a proposal to guarantee access to abortion. Even during what was expected to be a low-turnout summer election, the outcome serves as an important reminder that abortion rights and democracy remain important to the majority of voters.
But in Mississippi, the picture isn’t nearly as rosy. Time’s Charlotte Alter reports that a 13-year-old Black girl, who was raped by a stranger and unable to access abortion care, just gave birth, shortly before entering the seventh grade. Reading Alter’s report, it’s hard to find the words to even respond to what is becoming more and more common, not only in Mississippi but across the country. There are few words, mostly just feelings of anger and heartbreak. But the list of actions all of us can take to respond to the attacks on abortion access—that have successfully stripped away reproductive freedom for far too many, even when there are exceptions—only grows. Donate to her GoFundMe. Have an uncomfortable conversation with loved ones who are not “big on abortion” about why everyone deserves the right to make decisions about their own bodies. Support an abortion fund, such as the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, which aids pregnant people and their loved ones who do not otherwise have the means to travel for abortion care, let alone the ability to take time off from work and travel out of state for that care. Tell everyone you know about abortion funds, in case they might need to contact one or want to become a regular contributor, and the other resources included in this newsletter, such as INeedAnA.com. And continue to share and reflect on both realities of the state of abortion—the highs and the lows—because as the Mississippi civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”