Roe v. Wade—the Supreme Court decision that for fifty years held that the right to have an abortion is protected by the constitution—was overturned by the Court on June 24, 2022. The assumption that women are people who deserve autonomy over their bodies has been rejected by the nation’s top justices. Our mothers, grandmothers, and allies who marched miles in pursuit of freedom, leaving a trail of their own blood, have been rebuked.
We know you’re not new to this fight. Glamour readers have been shouting about the right to choose from the rooftops, marching in the streets, and banging on our representatives’ doors for decades. Glamour has been writing about abortion rights since before Roe ever reached the Supreme Court. You’ve read our coverage of what really happens to women who are denied abortion, our account of getting an abortion during the pandemic, our collection of men’s abortion stories, our explanation of late-term abortion, and more. So many of you have shared your stories with us, with generosity that is dazzling and never taken for granted.
We wanted to give you something more. The rollback of Roe—the day dreaded by every person who believes in bodily autonomy–has come. Now what? This collection of reported stories is a practical how-to guide for surviving and serving others through a painful time.
Roe was supposed to be just the beginning of an era of protection. It should have been codified in federal law. It should have been championed by presidents. Every day, in every place in the country where people are routinely denied abortion, should have been treated like what it is: an emergency and a violation of human rights.
For fifty years, Roe was the law of the land. Now it’s not. That’s not due to public opinion—the majority of Americans oppose the rollback of Roe. It is a result of decades of indefatigable work by republicans: activists, judges, lawyers, fundraisers, strategists, and volunteers. The people who worked to elect George W. Bush and Donald Trump—presidents who lost popular elections but together pushed three justices onto the Supreme Court—did not give up until they got what they wanted.
Forced birth advocates have something we don’t: A willingness to lie, cheat, and mislead. The reproductive rights movement has so many things they don’t: A popular majority, for one. Justice and goodness are on our side. We also have the medical professionals, the better protest signs, and Lizzo.
So many of us are wondering how to find our footing in a situation we never wanted to be a part of. There’s a place for all of us. There is a place here for rage. There is a place for shame. For misery and for energy. For artists. For drivers. For TikTokers. For people who are good at being kind. For people who have never thought of themselves as political.
In the coming years we are going to witness and experience suffering and injustice. Our nation, with its bluster about freedom and liberty, will humiliate itself through out-and-out hypocrisy again and again. The best way to counter despair is through action. Prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba is credited with the phrase “Hope is a discipline.” Let’s get our reps in. —Jenny Singer