It is never easy to send out another personal note of support, solidarity and righteous anger and concern from our team to our community so quickly following our last one. The urgency of the moment continues to be relentless – and we know you feel it as much as we do here at Alliance for Girls (AFG).
We want to reiterate again our commitment to reimagine, advocate for and support our next generation of leaders and change-makers as they fight to bring to life a different way of being – a vision of radical safety grounded in hope. We cannot lose heart – though the hill may be steep, it is ours to climb.
Today’s news that the Supreme Court has formally overturned Roe v. Wade, restricting the rights of anyone with a uterus to choose what to do with their body, is both heartbreaking and terrifying. This ruling will have a ripple effect across the United States, igniting trigger laws in at least 13 states and even more strict restrictions in other states. Although Governor Newsom declared California a “reproductive freedom state” in September 2021 and has since proposed expansions to strengthen protections, access, and welcome people from anti-abortion states seeking services in California, ensuring the implementation of these protections across California and protecting the unique needs and rights of girls and gender expansive youth, especially those of color, across this state is essential. However, we know that it is not enough to strategize around these restrictions. To quote the late Maya Angelou, “The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free.”
As members of the girl-serving sector, we are all acutely aware of how vital reproductive justice is to our community. In AFG’s Radical Visions of Safety Report, girls and gender expansive youth defined safety as a rich and profound presence of trust, respect, connection, sovereignty, representation, and a sense of belonging, to just name a few. There is no more intersectional issue at the heart of radical safety than that of reproductive justice and the power for girls and gender expansive youth to be able to be the narrators, curators and protectors of their bodies, sexual health and reproductive choices.
There is a lot to say, feel and do right now. We must start with making space for the multitude of feelings so many of us and those we serve are processing right now. For those of us who are older – we must make space for grief, anger and exhaustion of having to be in this fight again (again being a simplistic term because the fight for our rights has never stopped). For our youth – we must make space for their disbelief, anger and fear. We must make room for them at the table because the future that is at stake is theirs and regression is both unprecedented and new.
For all of these feelings, we must create a safe space to process what the court’s decision says to us as human beings – first and foremost. We wanted to share some resources on self-care as a radical feminist act.
- Reclaiming Our Self-Care As a Feminist Act
- Why Self-Care Is A Feminist Act
- The Radical History of Self-Care
We must also be informed – there is power in knowledge and we as a community must come together to share, network and educate ourselves and our communities about the resources available to us, for us.
- The Future of Abortions in America: An Access Map
- WHO Guidelines on Abortion to Help Countries Deliver Lifesaving Care
- The Criminalization of Abortion: What to Expect In a Post-Roe United States
And lastly, we must take action. Below are just a few of the millions of things we can do together to fight for the radical safety vision of our youth and the reproductive health, justice and freedom of our communities.
- You and Your Organization Can Join the Abortion Rights Movement — Here’s How
- Six Ways You Can Join the Fight for Abortion Rights
- How to Fight for Abortion Rights in Your State
- Cheat Sheet for Protecting Access
- Donate to support reproductive justice organizations (organizations by state)!
AFG is participating in a number of actions and activities led by Planning Parenthood Mar Monte, the San Francisco Human Right Commission, and Malikah focused on how to create space for healing, strategizing, and collective advocacy around expanded sexual and reproductive healthcare and abortion access in California and supporting the girls and gender expansive youth most impacted by government decisions on body autonomy. Please share any events or activities that you or your organization are participating in on mobilize.
We are with you during these difficult times – we see you, we appreciate you and we fight with you for the world our youth have named as their lighthouse in these dark and troubled times.
Together, we go forth and together we fight.
The AFG Team