Friends — It’s difficult to know where to start when decisions from an out-of-touch, non-elected but clearly partisan SCOTUS affect us all.
It’s no coincidence that the Supreme Court gutted any backing to Miranda Rights the day before they ruled in favor of forced pregnancy; Nor is it a coincidence that before that, the Court removed the ability for near-absent or poor representation to extricate someone from wrongful conviction. Going forward, keep an eye on whether new DNA testing can extricate someone from wrongful imprisonment either. SCOTUS also recently removed tribal sovereignty when it comes to crimes on tribal land. Let’s be vigilant with the relevant dominoes that could fall due to the Roe v Wade decision, which connects to right to privacy, gay marriage, birth control, and due process. (This self same court recently went after Mother Earth’s rights, too, by removing the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate power plant emissions.)
So many of us are in a whirlwind of intense emotions, whether it be fury, despair, or loss. But there’s power in numbers. Together we can help, aid, support, lift, and empower each other within our communities and fight back. We do not have to accept the so-called “care” that we’ve been given by oppressive institutions and systems. Let’s give ourselves the permission to dream of a radically different world and then make it happen.
Right now, here’s what you can do for abortion rights. Share this resource with people who may have sister-orgs, family, or friends outside of Washington State that are impacted by forced pregnancy!
But don’t forget: the SCOTUS decision for forced births affects our state, too!
In Spokane, clinics have seen a 36% rise in patients from Idaho, right next door. In Pullman, WA, 2 of every 3 patients are from out-of-state. The expectation is that out-of-state patients will grow 385% statewide.
As such, the upcoming legislative session will focus a lot on funding for abortion-providers (which is itself not exactly a perfect system), and possibly codifying a right to abortion in the state constitution. But that’s only possible if Democrats continue to hold both the state House and state Senate. Right now, there’s a 1 in 3 chance that Republicans take the Senate and create a divided government that would block those things from happening. In the last legislative session alone, Washington State Republicans already introduced 40 bills to undermine abortion rights. They’d also block police accountability, too.
Here at WCA, we’re getting and have been involved. The WCA Action Fund & Washington for Black Lives Action Fund will be supporting local and legislative candidates who push for equality—all of whom are pro-choice. Where there’s forced pregnancy there is no equality. The democracy reform work that Washington for Equitable Representation does is critically important when we consider the gap between the popularity of abortion rights and the representation we have at the local and state level, where county commissioners, prosecutors, city council members, and state legislators can advance or undermine those exact same rights.
Our own members are, too! We’d like to take a moment to uplift Sarah Dixit who has done tremendous work at Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. If you have any questions, want to share info for your local community, or want to help, she is a fantastic place to start.
It’s a long fight and it’s not taking place at SCOTUS alone. Lots of people with power (including us!) in lots of places can make a difference for the better. Never think otherwise.
✊ From Equality to Equity
Of course, it doesn’t end at forced pregnancies—which, by no mistake, disproportionately impact poor and working class people of color. Equality is a bare minimum, not only when it comes to bodily autonomy but to everything across the board. Our true goal is always equity. But we need to figure out the numbers so we know what it takes to get there.
Which is exactly why we’re working with the State Treasurer’s office to finally get some real data on our state’s own wealth gaps. More on this at the end of July!
Hope you enjoyed independence day—well, if you feel we have that anyway. But do set aside some time for joy in however you feel appropriate this month! Lord knows we all need it.
What do you think? Have any questions? Tweet us your thoughts @WACommAlliance.
Keep up on the action and opportunities to get involved through our legislative newsletter, The Tally.