It's clear that writers of the hit Hulu original series The Handmaid's Tale were on to something because it's beginning to look a lot like Gilead up in here.
Roe v. Wade guarantees women the constitutional right to privacy. The 1973 landmark decision ruled that the government could not prohibit a woman's fundamental right to have access to abortions during their first trimester, but according to recent headlines, a whole bunch of white men on the hill just said f*ck all that.
Two nights ago, Alabama's senate passed a bill that would ban all abortions in the state, including pregnancies that are a product of incest and rape. The law would also sentence doctors to life in prison for performing these procedures, putting Alabama in the lead for having the strictest abortion law in the nation. Also, here's a fun fact: Alabama's governor is a woman. Let that sink in for a minute.
The bill comes not long after Georgia's governor signed legislation to ban abortions after six weeks, and given the fact that most women don't even know that they're pregnant until five to six weeks into their first trimester, many women will lose the choice to terminate their pregnancy altogether. If the law goes into effect, women who have abortions will potentially be charged with murder and even investigated for miscarriages.
Legislators in South and Midwest are following Georgia and Alabama's lead, and states like Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi passed similar bills earlier this week. The passing of these bills on a national level could potentially cause a widespread shutdown of abortion clinics and even limit access to over the counter abortion pills.
Even if you're a woman who has never even thought about terminating a pregnancy, this law affects you too, sis. When the government starts infringing on any of our constitutional rights as women, we have a duty to take a step back and say 'wait a minute now'... first it's restricting abortions, but what's next?
Since these controversial political measures have hit the media, The Handmaid's Tale has been trending and if you haven't seen the show, I'll give you some context.
The series shows a dystopian future of an America where birth rates have plummeted and infertility is at an all-time high. The U.S. government is overthrown by a group of misogynistic assholes and the country, now called Gilead, converts into a patriarchal regime that forces the few fertile women that remain into sexual servitude in attempt to repopulate the earth.
Women are divided by class, but are treated like property nonetheless; men make their decisions and they are not allowed to own property, have money, or read. Is anybody else having deja vu, or nah?
These laws cannot be enforced unless Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, so it's important to know that the fight is not over. The future for this country may look like the dystopian nightmare we never dreamed of, but there are some things you can do to help. Here's what you can do to join the fight against the patriarchy's passionate ploy to police the puss:
Money talks and this is especially true when it comes to helping women in these states who need resources and access to safe abortion procedures. After taking into account the cost of the procedure, transportation, and aftercare, those funds can add up and make abortions less accessible to those with low income. Whether it's giving to an abortion fund like The Yellowhammer Fund, or donating to organizations like The P.O.W.E.R. House which is a Montgomery-based non-profit that offers shelter, food, and support to women who've traveled to get abortions, a little bit goes a long way.
If you're short on cash, never fear. You can always donate your time to help the cause in your own backyard. Most cities have abortion funds or clinics where you can volunteer, and you can also sign up to be an escort that helps women who may need emotional support before, during, or after their procedure.
Click here for a list of abortion funds across the country.
One thing that we will always make time for is social media, and that's OK. We live in a digital world, hell, you probably found this article on social media. Use your platform to share someone's story, GoFundMe page, or even just information to make the public more aware of what's going on. When posting, keep in mind that no matter how we all feel about abortion, this fight is ultimately about women having the right to make choices about our bodies. Even if you disagree with someone, try your hardest to empathize and connect on whatever level you can. This is an emotional topic and we all have a right to our feelings.
Host A Fundraiser
Even if you don't have any disposable cash to donate, I bet you know someone who does. Help the cause by starting your own fundraiser. Whether it be an event or a crowdsourcing campaign, the money you help raise can later be donated to an individual or an abortion clinic that's in need.
To the women in these states, you are not alone. They may have won the battle, but it's imperative that we keep fighting in our own ways to win the war.
Somebody call Offred and let's get this thing crackin.
Featured image courtesy of Hulu.