Abortion rights advocates spent the weekend trying to figure out what happens now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.
In Connecticut, Attorney General William Tong joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general Monday in reaffirming the state’s commitment to support access to abortion care.
“Abortion care is healthcare. Period. We stand together, as our states’ chief law officers, to proudly say that we will not back down in the fight to protect the rights of pregnant people in our states and across the country,” Tong said. “While the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision reverses nearly half a century of legal precedent and undermines the rights of people across the United States, we’re joining together to reaffirm our commitment to supporting and expanding access to abortion care nationwide.”
There’s still a lot of uncertainty about what the ruling means and how it affects services.
Abortion rights “hanging by a thread”
Kamyon Conner, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, said they are suspending their funding at the moment because they don’t know what the legal ramifications will be if they support abortion care.
“We are holding the weight of this and protecting our volunteers,” Conner said during a virtual press conference.
Conner said the organization has stopped the phone and text line, and is in the midst of figuring out what next steps might be.
“Decades of attacks left abortion rights hanging by a thread in the U.S.,” Conner said.
She said things will likely get worse before they get better and women will be further along in their pregnancies before they are able to access abortions.
“This is not just about abortion,” Conner said. “This is about creating communities where folks are safe and feel as if they can thrive and have the supports they need.”
Andrea Miller, president of National Institute for Reproductive Health in New York, said anyone seeking abortion care even in states where it’s still legal are going to be pushed further into their pregnancies as the systems in those states try to serve more women from other states.
“The ability to get an appointment will be further out, and further out,” Miller said.
She said the states where they are making abortion care illegal are also trying to punish states where abortion care is legal.
“I think you’re going to see these ripples happening,” Miller added. “In terms of when it’s accessible, when it’s possible to get an abortion.”
Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of Reproductive Equity Now, said the decision strips millions of essential abortion care and puts bodily autonomy out of reach for people across the country.
In Massachusetts, like Connecticut, abortion is codified in state statute so care is protected at the moment.
But “we know that access is not always guaranteed because even before this decision Roe was the floor, not the ceiling,” Holder said.
She said they are calling for insurance coverage of abortions and protections for state providers who provide abortion care.
Connecticut recently passed a law that protects providers who perform abortions from prosecution from other states.
“Ultimately, what harms people in some states harms us all,” Tong said. “The future and well-being of our nation is intrinsically tied to the ability of our residents to exercise their fundamental rights, including the right to liberty, privacy, and access to abortion care. If you seek access to abortion and reproductive healthcare, we’re committed to using the full force of the law to support you. You have our word.”
Holder said anti-abortion politicians are not going to stop at Roe.
“They’re coming for a federal abortion ban,” Holder said. “We have to be vigilant. We cannot let up because we are not immune in Massachusetts.”
She said they could target birth control, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights.
“Abortion is not a divisive issue,” Holder said. “This is a continuation of a 50-year campaign by the white supremacists, far-right movement to take us back in time.”