We are scientists and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform healthcare decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the United States are the latest in a long string of attempts to remove autonomy, falsely using science to justify denying people's constitutional rights and inflicting lasting damage.
Scientists should first and foremost value evidence and the evidence is clear: abortion bans cause harm. They especially harm already marginalized communities and they do not reduce abortions, but only make them less safe. The very communities in southeast US that have had their reproductive rights slowly chipped away for decades have been here all along fighting for reproductive justice, i.e. the “human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities”. Importantly, these same communities living under the specter of further reduced access to basic reproductive health care need our support, not boycotts. It is time for scientists to show up and use our voices, money, and positions of privilege to push back on these attacks.
Many organizations across the Southeast, many led by women of color, have been fighting against reproductive restrictions for a long time and are on the front lines of pushing back the latest attempts to ban abortions. Support any/all of these organizations. And remember, these restrictions aim to provoke legal challenges that ultimately elevate the issue to the Supreme Court, so it is critical to bolster legal support to keep abortion legal and safe.
ARC - Southeast works with people in 12 Southern states to fund and support women who are traveling to Atlanta for abortion services. They work to promote reproductive access and care throughout the southeast.
You can also educate yourself and others on the reproductive justice movement.
Reproductive Justice, by Loretta Ross
Birthing Reproductive Justice: 150 Years of Images and Ideas
And if you know someone who is currently struggling to access abortion care anywhere in the U.S., they can find a nearest provider here.
Interested in reading more? The 500 Women Scientists Atlanta pod recently published an op-ed on the GA “heartbeat” bill.