By now, you’ve certainly heard about the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. (JWHO). We knew this moment was coming because anti-abortion lawmakers have been deliberately chipping away at abortion rights and access for decades. But knowing it was coming doesn’t make it any less traumatic to read. Since Roe v. Wade’s passage in 1973, over 1,300 abortion restrictions have been signed into law. The Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas SB 8 painted a clear picture on their stance on abortion rights and their inaction has quickly opened the floodgates for extreme abortion bans in other states.
Just like you, we are devastated by the potential loss of access to safe abortion services and the undoing of nearly 50 years of legal precedent. However, abortion is still legal in this country and all of the 9 clinics managed by Whole Woman’s Health are open! Our grief and anger for the fundamental disregard of our bodily autonomy continues to propel us to innovate and adapt. Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance are a vital part of the future of abortion care in the U.S. and our 4 clinics in haven states (Bloomington, MN, Baltimore, MD, Alexandria, VA, and Charlottesville, VA) are preparing for the surge. There is hope in this darkness and we’re here to be a guiding light so that everyone can access the abortion care they deserve. We are expanding our virtual services (now available in 5 states!) and our Abortion Wayfinder Program (which has helped over 70 Texans who are ineligible for an abortion under SB 8). We are also looking to expand into haven states. We are uniquely adept at providing care in an ever-changing environment and surviving these challenges. You can trust us as we navigate what lies ahead, and please support our work by donating today.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President & CEO
Sonja Miller, MEd, MDiv, Interim Managing Director
Abortion is Our Work
It’s now been 267 days since Senate Bill 8 took effect, bringing abortions over 6 weeks to a halt in Texas. The state, regional, and federal courts have failed us in protecting our basic rights. Last month, a new challenge to SB 8 was filed on behalf of former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and the Stigma Relief Fund, an abortion fund that provides support to patients in clinics managed by Whole Woman’s Health. A motion for summary judgment was filed on April 25th, and we’re still waiting word from the court. If Roe v. Wade is overturned this summer, as the Supreme Court signaled it plans to do, Texas has a trigger ban and a pre-Roe ban which could serve to outlaw abortion immediately. Thousands of pro-abortion Texans came together in Austin, the state capitol, to tell politicians to keep their #BansOffOurBodies. Our new Social Media Strategist, Ivania Gutierrez, was there to capture the action and raise their voice!
Whole Woman’s Health of Austin continues to serve as many patients as we can for as long as we can, despite Senate Bill 8 and the looming fall of Roe. We released a second video of Busy Philipps’ visit to our clinic, featuring a sit-down conversation about abortion stigmas with our President & CEO. Watch it now on YouTube or Instagram.
Following the Supreme Court leak, pro-abortion lawmakers in Virginia have been swift to assure Virginians that their abortion rights will not go away. “The first thing Virginians need to know is their right to abortion is protected in our state laws,” shared Delegate Sally Hudson. “Abortion is healthcare, and decisions about healthcare should be between patients and their providers,” stated Del. Jennifer McClellan. It’s more important than ever for Virginia to remain a safe haven as conservative states move to ban abortion outright. Still, Democratic lawmakers are keeping a close eye on the Republican administration and any restrictions they may try to impose. Gov. Youngkin has been largely quiet on his intentions, but he is openly anti-abortion and took part in a “March for Life” in late April. Virginians made their support for abortion known with roughly 2,500 showing up in Richmond on May 14th for a rally organized by the Virginia Reproductive Quality Alliance (a coalition we’re proud to belong to!). Our VA Advocacy Director Steph Nash motivated the crowd with a galvanizing speech.
Whole Woman’s Health of Charlottesville has seen a steady increase in patients, particularly those traveling from out-of-state, and our abortion pills by mail program continues to take off. We have deep admiration for the clinic staff as they’ve been working tirelessly to ensure that every patient feels supported and receives the highest quality care. We’ve also seen an outpouring of community support in Charlottesville as almost every staff member has had folks reach out and ask what they can do to help.
State lawmakers across the country are preparing to write new abortion laws when the Supreme Court issues its final decision in Dobbs v. JWHO. While Indiana does not have a trigger ban in place, we expect the Governor to call a special session once the decision is made official. Conservative lawmakers will likely move fast to prohibit abortion within the legislature. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is ready to enforce and defend any possible new anti-abortion laws. Help us fight back by signing this petition asking for Gov. Holcomb to not call in a special session this summer. On May 14th, hundreds rallied outside of the state capitol in Indianapolis to advocate for their abortion rights. In response to an anticipated abortion ban, Whole Woman’s Health has expanded its virtual services to the state of Illinois, which borders Indiana.
Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend invited local religious leaders and press for a clinic blessing on May 12, 2022. The blessing affirmed that the majority of people of faith support access to abortion and urged greater solidarity around this divisive issue. Listen to the blessing on WVPE-FM and watch it on WNDU-TV.
Minnesota could become a destination for abortion care for the Midwest and South if the Supreme Court rules against JWHO. Many of the neighboring states have trigger bans in place, which would outlaw abortion outright without Roe v. Wade in place. Abortion providers, funds, and practical support groups in the state are preparing for the anticipated surge, as well as fighting the significant restrictions in place in Doe v. Walz, which is currently being appealed by the state. Numerous rallies have taken place in response to the Supreme Court leak, drawing over 1,000 attendees.
Whole Woman’s Health of Minnesota Clinic Manager Eliza O’Brien gave her first rousing rally speech and MN Advocacy Coordinator Karmann Peters led attendees in rally chants. Members of the Legislative Reproductive Freedom Caucus in the Minnesota Senate brought nine bills to the Senate floor and held a press conference to encourage Minnesotans to protect reproductive health care rights.
Whole Woman’s Health of Minnesota had a special visitor last month – Senator Tina Smith! Our staff gave her a tour of the clinic, along with some local press, and had a discussion about the dangers of abortion bans. Watch her interview live from the clinic on WCCO-TV.
The U.S. Senate held a second vote on May 11th for the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), a bill that would create federal protections for abortion. The vote once again failed to pass but shines an important light on Senators who support abortion rights – and those who don’t. See how your Senator/s voted.
Despite what the future holds, we know that Roe v. Wade was never enough, especially for communities that already face disproportionate barriers to care. Abortion is and has been out of reach for many, and reproductive justice advocates have been sounding the alarm for years. Now this inequity will only grow larger as entire states move to cut off access to abortion completely in half of the U.S.
The sense of urgency to come up with solutions is echoing throughout the country. More businesses have stepped up to support employees living in hostile abortion states, the latest being Microsoft, Amazon, and Tesla.
The Supreme Court leak has now been heard around the world, and droves of people are speaking out to voice their support and share their abortion experiences. On Saturday, May 14th, more than a million people showed up for nearly 450 rallies across the country with one unified voice: keep your bans off our bodies. It’s a great reminder that the majority of Americans support the constitutional right to abortion care.
Shifting Abortion Stigma
We are committed to fostering open and honest conversations about abortion and advocating for reproductive freedom. We continue to provide thought leadership on social media with timely, shareable posts and graphics. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twi
Inside Our Abortion Clinics
Here is a patient testimonial from Whole Woman’s Health of Austin: “In 2005, I came to Whole Woman’s Health for an abortion. I knew as soon as I found out I was pregnant that I would release it. I was married with two daughters and just beginning my career as a writer. Whole Woman’s Health provided a safe procedure and a welcoming atmosphere where I felt supported and empowered throughout my experience. From the front desk staff to the medical professionals, I knew I was in good hands. The vital services Whole Woman’s Health provides must be protected so that women can continue to make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their future.”
In the News
Since the Supreme Court’s leak hit the airwaves, we’ve been overwhelmed with requests from reporters. We continue to rise to the challenge because we are deeply committed to lifting the voices of those impacted by abortion bans, shining a spotlight on the humanity of abortion providers, and shifting the stigma around abortion in this country. Most importantly, we want to spread the word that abortion is still legal and our clinics are open. This month alone, our team has participated in nearly 50 one-on-one interviews with the press, many eager to know how we’re preparing for a post-Roe America and the impact SB 8 continues to have on Texans and the rest of the country. Check out this Los Angeles Times exposé on Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen, this MSNBC interview with our President & CEO on the day the leak was published in Politico, this CNN interview on the future of abortion access in the U.S., and this VICE News story on how clinics are bracing for the gutting of Roe v. Wade.
How You Can Help
For nearly 20 years, Whole Woman’s Health has provided and fought for abortion care with compassion and dignity, based on each patient’s right to make their own decisions about their family, their body, their health, and their future. We are prepared for what lies ahead and will continue to dedicate ourselves to making sure safe abortion care still exists. Here’s how you can get involved to support WWHA:
- One Time Donation – Make a one-time donation now to protect abortion rights and access.
- Monthly Donation – Monthly recurring gifts provide steady, reliable support. Start NOW!
- Honorary or Memorial Donation – Show your appreciation for the people in your life, mark a milestone, or commemorate the life and memory of a loved one.
- Stocks and Securities – Support our work through the gift an appreciated asset.
- Donor Advised Funds – Recommend a gift through your donor advised fund with your financial institution.
Abortion Fact of the Month
Claims regarding abortion “reversal” treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards.