Let’s review some facts about access to reproductive healthcare in the US.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court handed down their decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This decision overturned the outcome of Roe v. Wade, leaving states with the right to pass total bans on abortion. Since June, lawmakers in 12 states have moved to pass total bans on abortion. Most of these states are in the Southeast. However, in the recent election, abortion ballot initiatives in KY, VT, MT, MI and GA came out pro-choice, making it clear that the people favor access to abortion.
Let’s review some facts about access to reproductive healthcare in the NC today.
While barriers to accessing reproductive care in NC exist, we are unique in the Southeast as abortion remains available for up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, at least for now. NC is currently a destination for abortion care. Our mutual aid networks need your support now more than ever. We are confident that we will see a number of anti-choice bills introduced in the upcoming legislative session including possible gestational bans. As Exective Director of Pro-Choice NC Tara Romano put it:
This is definitely going to be a tough session, but it’s one where we can win.
Both NC Senators Tillis and Budd remain reliable anti-abortion votes. Our NC Congressional delegation is evenly split between pro- and anti-choice representatives. Pro-choice lawmakers hold a slim majority with the power to uphold Governor Cooper’s veto of anti-abortion bills.
Let’s review what you can do to protect access to reproductive healthcare.
- Our legislators need to know that the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians support reproductive freedom and abortion access, and we expect them to protect abortion access in our state. Click here to urge legislators to prioritize legislation that protects and expands access to abortion and the full range of reproductive health care.
- Attend CJJ’s statewide Reproductive Justice working group’s next meeting on Thursday, February 9th at 7PM on Zoom. You can register at this link here. We will share more education about the NC General Assembly, plan to hold legislative visits, and share information about accessing training on self-managed medical abortions.
- Learn more about reproductive justice from SisterSong at this link here. SisterSong is the leading women of color reproductive justice collective in the US. Reproductive Justice leaders met January 20-22, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia, convened by SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. This summit took place on what would have been the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion—a decision that was overturned in 2022 leading to the loss of legal abortion in half the country. The group envisioned a new future for Reproductive Justice, which follows here.
Abortion access is a Jewish value, and CJJ will unapologetically fight for safe and legal access to abortion care and to ensure that every single person can make their own decisions about their body, health, and future.
CJJ and the Progressive Kehillah at Beth Meyer Synagogue together for a night of study and practice with Rabbi Jenny Solomon on Wednesday, June 22
Our friends at the Carolina Abortion Fund say that the South has always been post-Roe, so we’re not surprised by the news that the Supreme Court eliminated federally-protected access to abortion. While we are devastated and furious, we know that this fight is far from over. That’s why CJJ works in coalition to remove the many restrictions on abortion access in our state, following the leadership of those who are most directly impacted by these attacks on reproductive freedom. Here’s how we start:
- Donate to the Carolina Abortion Fund, and independent clinics such as Keep Our Clinics that continue to work hard to make sure people can get the care they need.
- Contribute to the Jewish Fund for Abortion Access, an initiative of the National Council of Jewish Women that resources the National Abortion Federation.
- Support Pro-Choice NC, long time leaders in this fight working exclusively to protect and advance the reproductive rights of North Carolinians — and sign up for their Rapid Response list to stay informed about actions you can take now and in the future.
- Make sure you are registered to vote. And then go vote, in every election, and down the whole ballot. (Early voting for the 2022 General Election is Oct. 20-Nov 5; Election Day is Nov. 8.)
- Contact your senators to demand that they protect our rights by passing the Women's Health Protection Act.
We know that ending sexual trauma is a part of reproductive justice. Access to mental health support like therapy services is part of comprehensive healthcare. Thank you for our friends at Orange County Rape Crisis Center for extending the following free/low-cost therapy services for survivors of sexual violence who are over the age of 12 living in or near Orange, Person, Chatham, and Durham counties to CJJ members.
Further media coverage and reading
Hear from Raleigh-based Rabbis Lucy Dinner and Eric Solomon in "Religious beliefs led to Roe’s overturn. Other religions suffer because of it." in the News & Observer.
Check out what Amy Lefkof has to say about "What the reversal of Roe v. Wade means for Jews like me" in the Charlotte Observer.
What does the overturning of Roe v. Wade have to do with Jewish religious freedom? Read this piece from NPR here.
To learn more about how our Jewish values inform our work for reproductive justice, check out the National Council of Jewish Women's Abortion and Jewish Values Toolkit. Each section explores a different facet of this work, and the background information provides a necessary context for understanding the specifics of the Jewish messaging resources and the intersection of abortion rights with other critical issues.