Telling Abortion Rights Supporters to Vote Isn’t Enough

Youn the wake of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion declaring their decision to overrule Roe V. WadeAmericans are now looking to their elected representatives who support abortion to come up with a plan. Some local legislators offer creative ways to make abortion available for as many as possible. They allot funding to people who travel to their states and cities, decline to prosecute anyone accused of ending a pregnancy and promise not to extradite any abortion providers to another state for prosecution. Federal legislators are far more resolute and tell abortion rights advocates to vote for them in November.

That’s it. This seems to be all that is needed to end the constitutional crisis that threatens a right we have enjoyed for nearly fifty years. It’s the right that each of us has to choose if, how, and when to start our family. One that also serves as the foundation of our rights to love one another and to keep our privacy. My experience as someone who was 19 when I had an abortion and now organizes those who were involved in abortions to talk about their experiences, has left me confused. The Democratic Party holds control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, it’s not like any of this came as a surprise, and yet here we are, at the proverbial cliff, being asked to wait just a little while longer. This should be frightening and frustrating for all.

You can’t ask someone to delay an abortion. That’s why state-mandated delays of 24, 48, and 72 hours are so cruel. Even With Roe V. Wade in place, pregnant people are being forced to travel out to state, arrange childcare and time off work, and spend money they don’t have just to get abortion care. Now, it’s likely to get worse and we’re being asked to wait AnotherIn the hope that Democrats will win in midterms, we have six months.

When will Democrats be able to keep their promise?

I understand the issue: Thanks to Democrats like Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin, who obsess over outdated procedures like the Jim Crow filibuster rather than actually taking actions that would benefit the American people, the Women’s Health Protection Act cannot pass the Senate. But it’s always something, isn’t it?

It’s been decades of something.

To win the support of antiabortion Democrats in March 2010, President Obama signed an executive ordering that confirmed the Hyde Amendment. This prohibits federal funds from being used for the majority of abortions. It also stated it was applicable to the Affordable Care act. The states were able to prohibit abortion coverage on insurance exchanges. In the following year, states also passed record numbers of restrictions on abortion. Abortion activists, who had long pushed to overturn the Hyde Amendment (first passed in 1976), were told we’d have to keep waiting.

Continue reading: The World’s Most ‘Pro-Life’ Nations Offer a Grim Preview of America’s Future

After President Trump won, we were told that Democrats needed a “big tent” party—one inclusive of anti-abortion Democrats—in order to win back the house in 2018. In Louisiana, Democrats such as Governor John Bel Edwards signed the most severe anti-abortion restrictions without being publicly ostracized by his colleagues. Candidates and PACs all warn candidates about the possibility of their fall every campaign season. RoeShe urged supporters to make donations if they are concerned about constitutional rights. Then after they win, these elected officials don’t take much action. Top Democrats rallied the House to vote against every anti-abortion Democrat even though the Supreme Court leak was in the news.

So when they say vote for us to protect abortion, I’m simply asking How? After we vote, Then what??

Democrats wanted our votes to ensure our rights in 2020. I remember the slogans flying around the internet after the presidential election and the Georgia run-off declaring that Black women saved the Democratic Party and the nation, yet Black women are asking for abortion access and there’s no plan to be found. The Democrats failed to secure voting rights in the two first years of the Biden Administration. They have no solution other than the one they are actively suppressing, gerrymandering, and manipulating. And there’s no plan to fix that either.

Continue reading: If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these states will ban abortion

Let me be very clear: I’m not suggesting anyone vote against legislators that would remove their bodily autonomy. Actually, the reverse is true. It is my request that those we put into office fulfill their commitments and actually deliver. I am asking, how many votes do we need to cast before we’ll see some action? What point does abortion become a funding tactic?

My upbringing taught me that voting is the best thing we can do for democracy. It was something my Black grandparents and elderly relatives couldn’t do for a long time. I love voting. It is crucial to vote, particularly at the local level. But voting should produce change and we’re still waiting. It’s disgrace that our elected officials have no plan other than asking us to once again use a system that’s faulty at best to help them retain power when they won’t use the power they have. It’s always about the next election and not the people who need help here and now.

We already voted. Now it’s time for our federal officials to do their jobs.

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