Abortion is a human right. Here’s what localities can do right now to protect it.

June 24, 2022.

While we are not surprised, we are angry. And we are ready to step up. 

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a final decision in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization – overruling Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and eliminating the right to abortion in the United States. With this ruling, the Supreme Court is allowing Mississippi to enforce its harmful 15-week ban on abortion and is opening the door for state legislatures eager to further restrict and ban abortion. Half of the states are expected to ban abortion.

All our fights are connected and we know that this decision impacts every single other fight we care about. Undermining bodily autonomy and access to abortion directly undermines racial justice. It undermines gender justice. Worker justice. Immigrant justice. Environmental justice.

Act now to protect abortion & reproductive rights locally

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. In Austin, TX, LP members have introduced resolutions to prevent police from investigating abortion and ensure reproductive health decisions are protected from discrimination in employment and housing. Local governments in states where abortion will remain accessible can, for example, expand abortion care to accommodate out-of-state patients and refuse to cooperate with criminal and civil investigations against individuals seeking abortions. For additional resources, 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. Localities can also pass ordinances regulating crisis pregnancy centers that provide false and misleading information about abortion. More on that here
  4. Use your public platform to support abortion rights. Local elected officials are key messengers on issues impacting their residents, including abortion and reproductive healthcare. It is crucial that local elected officials use their platforms to call out the impact of abortion restrictions and bans, and advance narratives that support the overall goals of the reproductive justice movement – helping contextualize reproductive justice as synonymous with racial and economic justice. Here are values-based messaging resources to help you speak authentically about your support of abortion rights.
  5. Work together with other LP members and the abortion rights on state advocacy strategies. Reach out to the LP team to get engaged and find support.

Additional Policymaking Options