Reproductive Justice Action Team

Welcome to the Reproductive Justice Action Team

Welcome to our Reproductive Justice Blog space. This is the place to learn more about this important topic and actions we can all take in the continuing battle to promote access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion for all women.

Roe vs. Wade and Jobs

In the 1973 landmark decision, Roe v. Wade granted women more reproductive freedom, effectively shifting gender disparities towards a more equal footing while lending women more opportunities for education and career advancement. By allowing the termination of pregnancies under certain conditions by reason of a woman’s right to privacy, women acquired more sexual and reproductive autonomy, sparking a revolution in the ideology of a woman’s contribution to society.

Southwest Daily News


Before 1973, child bearing was closely associated with marriage, with more women marrying at a young age and securing financial dependence from their husbands. At this time, 46% of married women, aged 25 to 46 years, participated in the job market, a rising trend up from previous generations due to an increase in job supply and demand. Nonetheless, only 8% of women had completed a 4-year education, limiting job opportunities to mostly clerical work. A ‘quiet revolution’ in the mid 70’s was soon the catalyst for Roe v. Wade’s ruling — a movement that connoted the growing expectations women felt in how they anticipated contributing to society.

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Template - Letter to your Senator - Amy Coney Barrett confirmation

Dear Senator xxxxxxxxx,

I hereby urge you to vote against the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

She is certainly an able judge, but she does not represent the will of the people of the United States and you have a constitutional duty to follow the will of the people.

We, the  people of the United States, have stated time and time again that we want the next President to choose the replacement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

If Mr Trump is reelected (God help us), he will have plenty of time to request her confirmation. However, if he loses, it should be President Biden who makes the choice.

Don’t be a hypocrite: when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016, Mitch McConnell declared any appointment by the sitting President to be null and void.

He clearly stated that the next Supreme Court justice should be chosen by the next President to be elected later that year.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Your blatant power play to stack the court in record time and is a reflection of your lack of any moral fiber.

You should be ashamed to vote for her confirmation.

Your vote will be remembered.


Trump & His Allies Attack Women's Access In Countries Throughout the World

Not only is Trump taking away our rights in the United States, but he's suppressing access to heathcare and reproductive rights around the world.

From a great article in Mother Jones:

“Over the past three years, President Trump has decimated funding to family planning groups across sub-Saharan Africa, leaving many fighting to survive. More quietly, he has also planted far-right ideologues as the heads of federal agencies crafting international policy on the rights of women and bolstered the work of nongovernmental organizations seeking to make abortion illegal worldwide.”

This is not “fake news”. Read the article and fight for our rights!

Senator Casey Responds to Letter Campaign

As part of the “contact your senator” campaign posted on the DA GWC website, I wrote to my two Pennsylvania U.S. Senators, one Republican (Pat Toomey) and one Democrat (U.S. Senator Bob Casey).

Democratic Senator Casey’s office very quickly sent a response. Senator Toomey's office has yet to respond.

Please do your part. Please contact your Senator. Please tell them to do all they can to stop the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.



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DAUK WC & GWC Activist Lunch: Reproductive Justice & ERA

The DA UK WC along with the DA GWC held an activist lunch over zoom on October 8, 2020.

Here is Salli Swartz’ presentation concerning Reproductive Rights: Roe v Wade and Where we are Today.

It’s a short history of Roe with an update on the views of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. To read the Where We Are Today presentation, click here

Please remember to write and/or call your Senators to oppose a vote on her confirmation to the Supreme court until after we have a new (blue) President.

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ROE v Wade: Where We Are Today

Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s Supreme Court Pick, Signed Anti-Abortion Ad

If you are wondering about Amy Coney Barrett and her views on Roe v Wade, read this article from the New York Times.

This makes taking the Senate back all the more important so that we can legislate our reproductive rights if the Supreme Court takes our rights away.


Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times


Save this for later…. just in case

How to Get an Illegal Abortion

I’ve been helping women outside of the US get safe illegal abortions for years.

RJ1.pngThroughout Latin America, Africa, and parts of Asia, abortion remains highly restricted yet commonplace. While many, especially young and marginalized women, still resort to sharp objects or dangerous cocktails, there are now safer options than in the pre-Roe days.

Many Americans already lack practical access to legal abortion due to onerous restrictions in a number of states. Millions more would join them if abortion was decided at the state level.

So if you are thousands of miles from a legal abortion, what are your options, short of crossing a border?

Here is what women in developing countries do, and how professionalized medicine in the US would make it easier for me to get an abortion in my adopted home, the most conservative state in Mexico, than in my native state of North Carolina. It’s time to start preparing for the worst.

The New and Improved ‘Back-Alley’ Procedure

Most surgical abortions in the first or second trimester do not require an operating room thanks to the invention of the Manual Vacuum Aspirator (MVA). Think a giant syringe with a blunt plastic tip. Clinicians are trained to use it by sucking seeds from a papaya.

MVA is also used for incomplete miscarriages, so is available to clinicians no matter what the legal status of abortion. In developing countries, private clinics and even public hospitals routinely use MVAs to perform illegal abortions off the books- for those who can pay.

How many clinics or hospitals in the US will be willing to risk being shut down for performing illegal abortions? Probably none, since abortion clinics are closing all over the country when they can’t comply with new operating restrictions. How many clinicians will be willing to put everything on the line to do an abortion in their guest bedroom? Likely some, but not nearly enough.

How many would teach lay people on a papaya? Networks of women who perform illegal abortions have happened before - learn more in this podcast. Sound like a risk you are willing to take? Then buy a speculum, and if you live in the tropics, plant a papaya tree. Just in case.

DIY - there’s an app for that

The other way women in developing countries have safe abortions is by taking misoprostol, a pill that causes uterine contractions. The drug was developed to treat ulcers and pregnancy was labeled as a contraindication; women in countries with restricted abortion but lax perscription enforcement quickly caught on to the practical uses of this side effect. It leaves no trace and looks clinically like a miscarriage.

Hesperian, publishers of the “Where There Is No Doctor” books, now has an app on how to use pills for abortion. The Dutch organization Women On Waves, who used to have to sail women into international waters to perform abortions, is now reaching many more on the web with mail-order pills.

Taking misoprostol is easy - the problem for Americans is how to get it. It’s not going to be OTC at CVS anytime before hell freezes over, and mailing it outside of the health system is illegal. Some Texan women have long been crossing into Mexico to buy it at pharmacies. Will misoprostol soon be moved by cartels, available from your corner drug dealer? It could fit between the gaps of Trump’s border fence...

Next time you are in a country without strict pharmaceutical controls, pick up a few boxes of misoprostol (also commonly known by its brand name, Cytotec) for your ‘ulcer’. Just in case.

If becoming part of an underground abortion network or a misoprostol drug smuggling ring makes you nervous, Make sure you request your absentee ballot at and VOTE!

August 3, 2020
The Reproductive Justice Team


On June 29, 2020 in the case of June Medical Services v Russo, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act is unconstitutional. The law, enacted in 2014, requires doctors who perform abortions in Louisiana to have the right to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed.

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, reasoned that the law would impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to an abortion. Specifically, the District court (which is the lower court) - after a trial with much evidence submitted, concluded that if the law went into effect, there would be only one doctor in the entire state left performing abortions in the early stages of pregnancy, and none at all performing abortions between 17 and 21 weeks of pregnancy.

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