People with uteri, it’s time to get your birth control under control. The United States Supreme Court will look at Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which could lead to the newly expanded conservative majority overturning Roe v Wade by next year. If that happens, it means that people with uteri may not be able to access a safe and legal abortion in many states. 

What is Roe v Wade?

Roe v Wade is a decision of the supreme court justices that protects the right of a woman to end her pregnancy through legal abortion. The 1973 result was seen as revolutionary because, for the first time nationally, federal courts supported a woman’s liberty to choose a safe, legal abortion instead of making her pursue backyard illegal abortions.

Importance of Supreme Court Decision in Roe v Wade: Safe Abortion Access

The supreme court abortion rights decision ensured greater reproductive rights. Prior to the decision, it was typical for women to go to extreme measures to end their pregnancy, and Roe v Wade led to the establishment of safe medical options. It also protected the right to privacy by preventing the government from interfering in a situation where a woman is seeking an abortion. The personal choice is limited to the woman and her doctor. 

What Will Happen if Roe v Wade is Overturned?

If Roe v Wade is overturned, female reproductive rights will be reduced across the country with very few protected states. However, decades of work to establish the right to an abortion and to reproductive healthcare will not be completely desolate. The map below from the Center of Reproductive Rights indicates protected unprotected and hostile areas.

Map of States With Female Reproductive Rights

Abortion Bans 

Roe v Wade sets a precedent that gives a constitutional right to every pregnant woman seeking an abortion without government intervention. If the Supreme Court overturns what is now federal law, only four US states and two territories could continue to protect a pregnant woman’s abortion rights, while the majority of the remaining states and territories could seek to eliminate or severely limit access to an abortion. Bans across the nation already restrict the right to an abortion by extending waiting periods and decreasing the number of providers. There are also laws that could automatically ban abortion in the first and second trimester if the supreme court overturns Roe v Wade. 

Overwhelming Support for Roe v Wade 

Broad consensus from voters across the United States demonstrates support for Roe v Wade and legal abortions. Results from the PerryUdem calculations show exact percentages. 

Pie Chart of American Support for Roe v Wade

Pie Chart of American Support of Abortion Legalization

Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization

The current challenge to Roe v Wade started in 2018 when Mississippi passed the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation named the Gestational Age Act, which banned most abortions after 15-weeks. Shortly after the Mississippi law was signed, a local abortion clinic called The Jackson Women’s Health Organization opposed the law by arguing that it was unconstitutional. Their case was brought to lower courts, which supported the claim and blocked the new law by asserting that under Roe v Wade, states are prohibited from banning abortions before fetal viability — the point at which a fetus can sustain life outside a woman’s body typically at 23 to 24 weeks. On June 15, 2020, Thomas Dobbs, in his official capacity as a Head of the Mississippi Department of Health, appealed the lower courts’ decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Once the court agreed to hear the case on May 17, 2021, alarm bells that Roe v Wade could be overturned began ringing for women across the nation. Is Roe v Wade overturned now? No. But it may be in the near future. 

How Can Pandia Health Help?

Roe v Wade could be overturned by the supreme court at the beginning of 2022, so take time now to protect yourself and support reform to protect other women. Using resources from Pandia Health, you can plan ahead. Anyone with a uterus should take the following precautions and advise family and friends to do the same.

Make Sure Your Birth Control Schedule is Set for the Future

Get your birth control automated and take back control. First, research all your options like pill, patch, ring, implant, or shot. From there, you can get information from trusted birth control websites like Planned Parenthood, Pandia Health, or a .edu. Once you determine which birth control you want to use, check whether you can get it delivered. For instance, you can get the pill delivered right to your mailbox when signing up with Pandia Health. 

Get Emergency Contraception Ahead of Need

Accidents happen! Being extra prepared is never a bad idea. Get emergency contraception in order to terminate an accidental pregnancy. Also, know that Plan B and its generics do NOT work for individuals with a BMI of 26 or greater. The IUD also acts as effective birth control to block pregnancy ahead of an accident. There are two types: hormonal IUDs (Mirena, Liletta, Kylena, Skyla) and copper IUDs (Paraguard). Buying emergency contraception or getting an IUD as soon as possible are effective ways to prevent pregnancy from occurring, especially as demand increases due to predicted restricted access to abortion.

Consider Skipping Placebo Birth Control Pills

Consider skipping the placebo pills (a.k.a those that don’t contain hormones) and taking the active pills continuously. When there is no drop in hormones, bleeding will not occur, which is not only convenient, but also beneficial for your health. Skipping your period decreases your risk of developing ovarian & endometrial cancer. Additionally, the fewer period products you use, the less you contribute to landfill. 

Check out this TEDx talk on #PeriodsOptional featuring our CEO & co-founder, Dr. Yen

Unite!

In order to stand together against abortion restrictions and oppose a legal challenge to Roe v Wade:

  1. Activate allies:
    • Make sure everyone knows what is at stake here and that we must express our outrage that anyone could consider banning abortions
  2. Boycott states that don’t support those with uteri’s bodily autonomy
    • Find state laws here
  3. Vote and ask your elected officials where they stand.
    • If you don’t like their answers, consider running for office yourself.