Roe V. Wade was overturned. What Do I Do Now?
by Ava Atkinson
Even without the new changes to abortion law, pregnancy can be scary. But there are millions of doctors, nurses, volunteers, and regular citizens who are passionate about this issue and are here to help. The first thing you can do if you become unexpectedly pregnant is to educate yourself on your options. With the overturning of Roe V. Wade, states are now allowed to ban abortion. It’s important to know that abortion is not banned nationwide. It’s still legal in many states, and you are legally allowed to travel across state lines to get the abortion procedure. See what your insurance policy is on abortion. If you need help paying, Planned Parenthood may provide financial help. You can also visit AbortionFunds.org, a site that raises money for abortions across the country.
Where to Turn
If you need an abortion, you can contact Planned Parenthood or a local reproductive healthcare provider. It’s important to realize, however, that not all seemingly helpful clinics are legitimized. Clinics referred to as crisis pregnancy centers commonly provide misinformation that may try to dissuade or shame patients from getting an abortion. The Alliance, an abortion rights advocacy group, found that almost two-thirds of crisis pregnancy centers in nine states promoted false or biased information about abortion on their websites, including claims that abortions increased the risk of cancer or infertility. Make sure that you find a legitimate provider before trusting them. Planned Parenthood and AbortionFinder.com are good resources for this.
There are two main kinds of abortion, and you should research both of them before making a decision. There is an abortion procedure and an abortion pill. Doctors can help you find which option is best for your body. However, depending on how far along you are, the pill may or may not be an option. Every provider will have a different cutoff, but some offer up to 13 weeks into the pregnancy. The further along you are, the less effective it can be. It is suggested to use the procedure if you are unhoused, need to keep your abortion private from someone you live with, or would like a quicker, more painless option. Note that it is common to sedate the patient for the procedure. If you do choose the procedure, you will need someone with you to help you get home. If you would like a more private experience, to follow your own schedule, and want a more natural feeling, less ‘invasive’ form of abortion, many recommend the pill. However, the side effects can be painful. Occasionally, patients may need a second dose of the pill if it doesn’t originally work.
Remember that despite the conflict in our government over this issue, there are still options. Abortion is not illegal nationwide, and there are clinics that specialize in helping women in need. If you or someone you know is struggling with finding an abortion, please contact Planned Parenthood, AbortionFinder.com, or a trusted provider of reproductive healthcare.
Ava Atkinson is a third year Anthropology major at the University of Virginia. She has always been interested in doing meaningful work, and The Power of the Patient Project gives her the opportunity. Ava loves to travel, try new food, and is a member of the Surfing Club at UVA. She's always excited to use her skills in writing and communications to help in patient care.
February 2023 page 9