May 4, 2022. Local Progress Texas Organizing Committee Members Alexsandra Annello, Vanessa Fuentes, and Adam Bazaldua.

We should all be able to make the personal health care decisions that impact our lives, health, and futures.

The Supreme Court’s draft opinion leaked earlier this week is at direct odds with what we know to be true: abortion care is healthcare and a constitutional right. Despite the fact that we knew this was coming, we’re sure many of you are grappling with a wave of emotions – feeling devastated and filled with righteous rage while trying to figure out how to move forward in this moment. Fortunately, we are not alone in this fight and we encourage you to lean into this powerful network of local leaders ready to step up.

Here’s what the draft opinion means.

Bottomline: Abortion is still legal in the United States. The document leaked to Politico is a draft opinion, not a final order of the Court. Until we actually see an official final opinion (which is expected later in June), this is not final. Here’s a helpful explainer:

If the opinion remains as written when made final, that would mean Roe v. Wade is explicitly overturned and Mississippi’s 15-week ban goes into effect. This would effectively allow states to ban abortion entirely. In this case, states would likely move to enforce trigger bans, pre-Roe bans, and total or early gestational bans. We know this will most impact people who are already failed by our health system – Black, Indigenous, and people of color; women and trans people; and working families.

The moment is now. Here’s what localities can do.

As we reconcile the hostile climate created by the federal and state governments, localities should prepare to be the last line of defense for reproductive rights. Localities can and must continue to advance reproductive freedom – including access to abortion, birth control, and gender-affirming care. Here’s what localities can do:

  1. Fund abortion access and amplify calls to support abortion funds. Allocate municipal dollars to local abortion funds, directly to local abortion providers, and/or to support funds that help people pay for costs associated with accessing abortion, such as travel, lodging, and childcare. Learn more here and here. Plus, more information if you’re in a blue state or city or a state with an abortion ban / trigger law.
  2. Protect people seeking care. Engage every relevant department in the city to implement and enforce policies and practices to prevent harassment and disruption at abortion clinics, including noise regulations, parking and traffic regulations, and anti-nuisance regulations. Check out NIRH’s roadmap and policy agenda for localities.  
  3. Ensure access to unbiased information. This includes supporting public awareness campaign to ensure residents know about the safe and legal abortion care they can access in your locality, and to educate residents on how to identify crisis pregnancy centers.
  4. Work together with other LP members and the abortion rights on state advocacy strategies. Join our upcoming network call next Monday or reach out to the LP team to get engaged and find support.