Our Work After Roe
I’m writing to you the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. I am gutted and grieving for this country. I wander my house, distracted and short with my family. My youngest attempts to console me, “But Mommy, don’t worry, you can’t get pregnant now so you’re OK.”
Through tears, I did my best to explain that this court decision could affect every person he knows, and every person they know, and on and on. I let him know that the very reason he is alive today is because I could choose when to have children and with whom, and without that, my life would have been completely different. I might never have moved to Seattle or met his dad. I explained that this ruling affects his own choices about if and when to have a family. It strips every girl he knows now and those he’ll know in the future—and all of their partners—of a basic right. It affects siblings, and grandparents, and of course the children born to parents who are then denied the resources, stability, and systemic support that can help families thrive.
Forcing a person to bear a pregnancy they don’t want is immoral. It cuts at the heart of a fundamental human need for self-determination. How can we attempt to be whole people without this basic right to choose?
But you know all of this.
To be honest, I’m not yet in a place of “what now?” I’m grieving and angry. I feel alone, and yet I know my grief-fueled rage is shared by millions of people across the country—regardless of whether they can or want to get pregnant. I’m grieving and angry for my nieces and cousins and the young people I know, the ones I play sports with, and the girls at my kids’ school. And I am especially grieving and angry for all those who will be most affected by this: Black, Brown, Indigenous, immigrant, and poor people who will be left to deal with unplanned pregnancies without support, money, and options. This grieving and anger build my resolve.
So the “what now?” will come, because it must. It may take decades, but I know this ruling won’t stand, because it can’t stand. Together, we will be called to support the existing networks that help people access the health care they need; we will be called to elect representatives, policymakers, and judges who will assert and defend our basic rights. Because our right to bodily autonomy is innate and fundamental—regardless of what a politically motivated Supreme Court majority decrees.