FINDING SUPPORT IN A POST-ROE WORLD.

AuthorBlack, Steph

The legal landscape for abortion rights has been profoundly altered in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on June 24 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and ended the federal right to abortion. In the ensuing days, ten states outlawed abortion completely. By fall, that number is expected to increase to twenty-six states.

The ramifications of this decision are already devastating, and the ripple effects will be far worse. The resulting chaos has overwhelmed abortion funds, clinics, advocacy groups, and even abortion seekers who are waiting for the dust to settle.

Two weeks after the court's decision, on July 8, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order designed to protect access to reproductive health care services. The order directed the Department of Health and Human Services to protect and expand access to medication abortion and to take additional steps to protect emergency medical care for those who are pregnant or experiencing pregnancy loss. It also ordered that additional steps be taken to protect patient privacy, among other actions. But it stopped far short of more decisive action that abortion-rights advocates had been demanding, such as declaring a public health emergency to preserve broad access to all abortion services.

As a result, an unprecedented 300,000 people might now need to travel out of state for abortion care each year. At least one-third of them will likely require help to cover travel expenses and other costs, Marisa Falcon, executive director of Apiary for Practical Support, tells The Progressive.

This is not a new reality for many abortion seekers or those providing reproductive services. In Southern states especially, abortions have never been easily accessible for people struggling to make ends meet or for people of color. Much of the country has been in a post-.Roe reality for years.

This is where practical support organizations (PSOs) like Apiary come in--their volunteers and trained staff help clients navigate the complicated process of obtaining an abortion and provide any logistical support that is needed to get a patient into a clinic. While PSOs have existed informally for a long time, they were previously not as organized as they are today. Some PSOs provide holistic support, which might include booking travel arrangements, paying for child care, or providing meals, while others simply offer rides to the clinic.

PSOs can help patients access...

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