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What is Roe v. Wade?

You might have heard about Roe v. Wade being “overturned.” This article is about how this decision might affect you.

What is Roe v. Wade?

Roe v. Wade is an important legal case that was brought to the Supreme Court in the early 1970s. When the Supreme Court made their decision about the case, they legalized abortion nationwide.

What things were like before Roe v. Wade

Before the Roe v. Wade decision, nearly all states banned abortion. Because abortions were illegal in many states, people sometimes died because they took matters into their own hands and ended up hurting themselves.

Roe v. Wade made abortion easier to get and safer for pregnant people nationwide.

How Roe v. Wade was overturned

In June 2022, another legal case came to the Supreme Court. This case was called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The decision the Supreme Court made in this case overturned (reversed) their past decision.

Now, abortion is no longer protected nationwide. Individual states have the power to decide whether abortion is legal within their state. If states choose to allow abortions, they can create rules for how and when pregnant people can get an abortion.

Click here to learn if abortion is still legal in your state.

Abortion care at IHS and Tribal clinics

Indian Health Service (IHS) rarely performed abortions before June 2022. It is unclear now whether IHS facilities will be able to offer abortions.

Due to Tribal sovereignty, every Tribe varies in what health services they provide. If your Tribal clinic offers reproductive health services, there is a possibility that they offer abortions. Call your clinic to find out if abortion is offered.

How does this affect me?

If you decide you want to have an abortion and you live in a state where abortion is not legal, you have two options. You can either have an in-clinic abortion in another state (where abortion is legal) or take the abortion pill. Both are safe and common. Learn more here.

If you need help paying for an abortion, funds may be available. Learn more at AbortionFinder.org or Indigenous Women Rising – an organization that helps fund abortions in the United States and Canada for Indigenous people. To connect with Indigenous Women Rising, visit www.iwrising.org/abortion-fund or call or text 505-398-1990.

For more info about abortion, check out these resources:

Author: Stephanie Paz is a Tigua Indian of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of Texas at El Paso and is working towards a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Promotion from New Mexico State University.

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