What to Do Now That Roe Is Gone (with Lauren Rankin)

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Gloria is joined by author and activist Lauren Rankin to outline everything you need to know in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Gloria and Lauren talk about what’s happening right now as a result of this ruling, how and why this decision will disproportionately hurt Black and brown people, and what you can do to support those who need help accessing abortion care. Come for the rage, stay for the actionable steps, and leave with some hope.

Follow Lauren on Twitter @laurenarankin.

Keep up to date with all the information you need about the overturning of Roe v. Wade on The New York Times.

This podcast is presented by Neighborhood Villages and brought to you with generous support from Imaginable FuturesCare For All Children by the David and Laura Merage Foundation, and Spring Point Partners.

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Gloria Riviera, Lauren Rankin

Gloria Riviera  00:09

Hi, guys, this is NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US, a Lemonada Media original, presented by and created with neighborhood villages. I’m your host Gloria Rivera deep breath, I keep needing to take deep breaths. Center myself, you know to remember that I’ve been knocked sideways, I guess. So here’s the good news which for a show called no one is coming to save us might sound humorous, we were going to share with you a fantastic guest who is the guru of early education and childcare truly, and you will hear that interview eventually. But then Friday happened. The Supreme Court overturned Roe versus Wade, the constitutional right to body autonomy to choice that women have had since 1973, a freedom that has been protected by rights of privacy under the 14th amendment. Look, many of us knew this was coming. For years now I have felt what was at first an inkling and then became something closer to an unwieldy certainty, something really bad was going to happen. It was like someone I know had a terminal illness, and no one wanted to talk about it. This does feel like a death. I remember when I found out someone I love very much died suddenly. The next morning, I could not believe people were just walking around New York City. It was a beautiful day, just like the days have been here in DC. And these people I saw were ordering their lattes and getting on the subway, as if everything was totally normal. That, that was my first experience with living in the before and living in the after. Well, guys, now we are in the after. What does that mean? Well, that means there will be more unwanted children born. We’ve had a few days to digest this as best we can. And that is a fact. Some of those children will be very sick. Some of those births could kill the mother. Not all but some. We’ve talked on the show a lot about the stress mothers already feel.

Gloria Riviera  02:32

Think about the stress of an unwanted birth, of doing something you do not believe you should do that cannot be undone of uncertainty. A far worse. Think of the mothers who will be most negatively impacted by this Court’s reprehensible decision. They are mothers of color without means. abortion rights were like child care in this country in that they both already sucked in a lot of ways. COVID showed us just how bad the childcare crisis is. But COVID didn’t overturn Roe vs. Wade, our own Supreme Court did that. As a result, yes, there will be a lot more babies needing childcare. And once again, it will be women who are hurt the most. This will hurt women economically, it will hurt them socially, it will interfere with their education, it will affect their job prospects, it will have an effect on their mental health on their physical health. And it will disproportionately hurt younger women, poor women and minority women, those in our society who can least afford even more roadblocks to be put in front of them. So as a team, we decided to devote this episode to what happens in a post Roe versus Wade world to react to the news with you and let you know you are not alone. So let’s start with this question. What does this do to you as a parent to your ability to provide child care? Are you someone who at a time in her life thought she might be pregnant but knew she was not ready to be a parent? I was. I remember exactly where I was when I made the call, to get Plan B.

Gloria Riviera  04:21

I struggled and I was in a position of privilege. Taking plan B was not a debate for me. So really, it was nothing close to an enduring struggle. It was my choice. It was what it was and then it was over. Now, now we are going to have a generation born of and into enduring struggle. That will mean ramifications far far beyond unwanted children brought into this world. This will stress what are already insanely thin social safety nets, barely holding us together. And just like we say on no one is coming to save us. It doesn’t have to be this way. I keep coming back to this line in the dissent and I will read it for you now, quote, as of today, this court holds a state can always force a woman to give birth, prohibiting even the earliest abortions. A state can thus transform, what when freely undertaken is a wander into what when forced, may be a nightmare, from a wonder to a nightmare with no guarantee no protection of life. In the case of rape or incest in many states, that is where we are. You guys, I’m scared. And I know I’m not alone. But a very smart and very accomplished woman, Lauren Rankin, whom we talked to, she walked me off the edge. Like during the interview, I was losing it and she calmed me down. I think she will calm you down, too. I hope so. We cannot go off the cliff. Because we need to march side by side. Lauren is a writer, she is an activist. She is the author of the new book bodies on the line at the frontlines of the fight to protect abortion in America. She’s also a columnist at day magazine. And she was a volunteer patient escort at an abortion clinic in New Jersey for six years. It was that experience that inspired her to write her book and become an expert in this realm. Here’s our conversation.

Gloria Riviera  06:26

Hey, Lauren.

Lauren Rankin

Hi, Gloria.

Gloria Riviera 

Oh, my gosh, it’s so good to see you. How are you?

Lauren Rankin 


Gloria Riviera 

You’ve had a few days. I don’t know how I am. But I wanted to just start with how you are?

Lauren Rankin 

Well, I actually went to a friend’s wedding in Boston on Saturday. So it was nice to be able to be with friends and people I love but now it’s I’ve just haven’t really had a second to stop.

Gloria Riviera 

I know. That’s how I feel.

Lauren Rankin 

So when it does stop, it’s probably going to be really hard.

Gloria Riviera 

Where were you when you found out?

Lauren Rankin 

I was home in Colorado. I was on the Supreme Court website refreshing like everybody else and right. I, you know, I saw the first ruling at eight o’clock, eight o’clock my time I’m on mountain time and it was the HHS case. And so I just was saying my little mantra, which was please not today. And it was.

Gloria Riviera 

Don’t let it be today. I know. Don’t let it be ever but yeah, I feel you. I was getting my kids ready to fly across the country to go to summer camp. And I was in like a state of I don’t even know it wasn’t good. And then I’ve since then, I’ve been going down rabbit hole after rabbit hole, which leads me to the question. You know, you are someone who knew this might be coming. And so when it came, what was your reaction? I mean, you had a wedding to go to the next day. What was your reaction when you refreshed the website and saw the news?

Lauren Rankin  08:08

I yelled an expletive. I did. And all I saw was, I was on SCOTUS blog. And I saw we have dogs. And I knew I knew what it was, I knew that they were overturning Roe, before I even read the ruling. So it was just I almost wanted to just kind of panic. Like the fight or flight mode, where I realized I’m gonna have to talk to people, I have to distill this information in a way that people can hear. I really don’t want to panic anyone. Because, you know, my experience doing this work. Folks who aren’t plugged into this, they hear Roe versus Wade is overturned. They think that means abortion is illegal. I can’t get one anymore. So I wanted to try and step back and make sure that I’m approaching this in a calm, reasoned way so that folks who do need care, aren’t panicking more than they need to

Gloria Riviera 

Right. Well, let’s talk about that. Because so much has happened in the past few days. And I, you know, I’ve interviewed Busy Philipps before, and I was looking at Instagram, and she reposted it from the ACLU. And it kind of was the first time that I was I felt a little bit of fear because that note said it advised to use a privacy first search engine like Duck Duck Go and to chat about your plans on encrypted apps with disappearing messaging. So the ACLU is telling people how to publicly discuss on social media, their plans to try to get an abortion or even have any conversation about it and just Reading, you know, the advices. You know, use apps with disappearing messaging, it’s like, it really scared me for the first time, does that sound, I mean, you just said you need to talk to people about this in a calm way. You know, how do you talk about that in a calm way?

Lauren Rankin  10:18

Right. I mean, it does feel dystopian, and it’s, it is really scary. There are very scary implications for people. It’s really important that your listeners understand right now. Abortion is not illegal in this country. Abortion is banned in certain states, it’s fluctuating. But as of now, nine states have bans on abortion in effect, some of those are being barred by state injunction, even just to give a couple of weeks time, that’s a couple of weeks for someone can get an abortion. It’s not illegal to talk about abortion, you cannot be criminalized yet, for talking about abortion. What is really helpful about things like DuckDuckGo, and signal and encrypted apps like that is that they help you if you live in a state that is hostile or has banned abortion, they just give you an added layer of protection from potential surveillance from law enforcement. So we don’t know how criminalization is going to happen. We have no idea what that’s going to look like. In reality. Black and brown women, unfortunately have already been prosecuted for their pregnancy outcomes. They’ve been criminalized, prosecuted, and convicted for having stillbirths, miscarriages and for self managing an abortion while Roe was the law of the land. So it’s really important that we understand this isn’t new, this surveillance state already exists. So taking that extra step of precaution is just a smart thing to do. But yeah, it is scary. You’re absolutely right. It’s terrifying.

Gloria Riviera 

Yeah. And Lauren, I know I’ve read some of your tweets and I know that you’ve talked about white cis women coasting on row that was a phrase that you used and that you know, there is an onus I you know, I feel I don’t know if refreshed onus is the right way to put it, but I feel some kind of new responsibility to fight this fight for all women, which it’s not like I didn’t feel that before but I just feel a new energy around it and my co-executive producer Stephanie Wittles Wachs reposting that note about, you know, something about like ready to burn, ready to get to work, ready to burn the house down ready, you know, all this anger can be corralled towards action. So talk to me a little bit about when you’re just talking about Brown and Black women made me think of the Herrera case. Can you talk us through that and just talk to us about this idea of white sis women, quote unquote coasting on roe and what needs to happen now?

Lauren Rankin  12:59

Yeah, sure. So is that Herrera is a woman in Texas, who was prosecuted, charged by the state for self managing and abortion while Roe was the law of the land? Meaning she did nothing wrong, number one. But number two, laws that ban abortion. Abortion opponents love to say are not about criminalizing the pregnant person. You’re not supposed to be criminalized for having an abortion. It’s the ecosystem they’re trying to create is that everyone around you, the doctors, people who assist you are supposed to be prosecuted, right? But the reality is so much worse. I mean, once I started realizing, 1973, for example, Roe vs. Wade was handed down in January, legalized abortion nationwide, six months later, two Black minors in Georgia were forcibly sterilized without their consent or their parents consent. No one knew that it was happening to them that was ruled legal and constitutional. Black and Brown people have been forcibly sterilized for decades under Roe and people like Lisette Herrera, like Lutece Fisher, a Black woman in Mississippi. She was pregnant. She knew she was pregnant. She was about halfway through it maybe 28 weeks. She went to the bathroom her stomach was upset. She thought she was going to have a bowel movement. She gave birth to a stillborn fetus instead in the toilet. Her husband called the hospital they went in and they found that she had at one point searched for what is medication abortion on her phone, and she was charged with murder. Luckily, and outcry from people had that rescinded but this is the reality. This is already happening. And what’s really important to understand is that the way our racist justice system works, it’s Black and Brown women who are going to bear the brunt of this. So saying that you’re not supposed to be prosecuted under abortion bans as the pregnant person is the law, it is supposed to be what it is. But it’s never been. There’s never been any sort of fairness or justice, White women have not been prosecuted for doing cocaine at the same level that Black women have for crack. It’s a perfect example of that. And we’re going to see that with abortion criminalization as well.

Gloria Riviera 

Right. You spent many years as a clinic escort and I’ve spent time on the ground, watching that process. And as a reporter, learning about how pivotal and what an incredibly empathetic and supportive role that is, you know, just watching someone go out to meet a pregnant woman coming into the clinic for an abortion and hearing the protesters. It led to a book that I feel like was published five minutes ago, bodies on the line. What did you learn in the reporting of bodies on the line reflecting on your time as an escort at abortion clinics that sort of unveiled to you what well might happen, which led us to where we are today?

Lauren Rankin  16:14

I think what my book I what I ultimately ended up doing was showing that the federal government has failed us, has failed to protect abortion access, from the moment that Roe vs. Wade was decided until the moment it was struck down. And the only reason we’ve limped along for as long as we have. The reason that people have been able to access abortions, been able to afford abortions been able to get to a clinic, been able to get inside a clinic past protesters is because every day volunteers, clinic staff, clinic escorts stepped up, they decided to find a way to make that happen. And there’s a real tragedy in that story. But there’s also real power. That, yes, the government did nothing until 1994, the federal government did nothing. It took bombs, it took blockades, it finally took an abortion provider being shot and killed for the federal government to pass what’s called the face Act, the Federal access to clinic entrances act in 1994. That made it a felony to block entrance to a clinic. The federal government hasn’t done a single proactive thing and supportive abortion rights since, the reason that we have hobbled along and that people have been able to access abortion care, is because of the people that I talked about in my book. The other thing that bodies on the line, I think really does. And that I really wanted to do from the outset was show abortion is not a political issue. It’s a people issue. People have abortions, it’s been politicized. But the human element of having an abortion, the human toll, the connection between you as an escort and the patient, you’re walking, feeling the hatred and the virulence from a protester screaming, you’re still going to be the mother, just the mother of a dead baby. God, you can’t help but feel that and you can’t feel the weight of that, the life of that pregnant person, I can feel it, I can see it. I can see it with my eyes and feel it with my heart. And that is what matters. That’s the power of clinic escorting at its most fundamental that you connect with another person. And you understand this issue in a unique way.

Gloria Riviera  18:32

Did you feel during your time working that the end might be coming? I mean, a lot of people have said and I have felt from my own reporting. It No, this was no surprise. And yes, it was a shock. And yes, it was a horrific moment. And yes, we will all remember where we were when we found out. But we knew it was coming. How did you understand what very well might be coming?

Lauren Rankin 

I think while I volunteered, I never really could think about that. I could never think while I was doing that act about the political ramifications or the law. But when I started writing the book, and realizing not just the ubiquity of my experience as a clinic escort that this is happening everywhere, but that no one is doing anything. At the federal level. No one is doing anything. And they’ve been very clear, the opposition has been crystal clear from the beginning. What their goal is, is once Amy Coney Barrett was appointed to the court. I knew that was the day I knew Roe versus Wade is over. It’s living on borrowed time. Yeah, I knew it. And once I heard the oral arguments and Dobbs in December of 2021. And they they set it all out loud. So I’ve had I’ve had a decent amount of time to prepare, but that doesn’t actually prepare you on a human level for the stakes of what we’re facing now.

Gloria Riviera  20:15

So, let’s go through this for our listeners, because I think you’re right. I think I do want our listeners to know, there’s no harm in being very clear about this. Abortion is still legal in some states. And what have you seen in terms of mobilization now, because when you talk about being a clinic escort, it makes me think of community, right? The community came in to support women where the federal laws failed, right? They failed, even though Roe was a constitutional right for 50 years. So the community stepped in supported women, the community is stepping in again. Now, what is possible for women now, I have a daughter who just finished first grade and I picked her up the day it was announced and I, you know, burst into tears. The moment we got off school property, I held it together. What is she need to know what do women who are in college or who are pregnant who who have three children pregnant with a fourth? Anyone, any color? Who wants an abortion? What do they need to know right now?

Lauren Rankin 

So as of right now, this is fluid because there are states that are abortion clinics and providers are trying to file injunctions. But the most recent data we have is that currently, nine states are now enforcing abortion bans. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio at six weeks, not total, at six weeks, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Utah, Utah, just actually, the an abortion provider in Utah minutes ago, I believe just successfully filed an injunction against that abortion ban. So abortions will resume in Utah for the time being. Okay, so

Gloria Riviera 

Okay, so this is very fluid, if nine states is bad enough.

Lauren Rankin  22:00

There are 13 total states that have trigger bans. So, some of those go into effect after 30 days. Those include North Dakota, Louisiana. So 13 states within a month will have abortion bans on the books moving forward from there, it’s possible that up to 26 states will ban abortion. So if you’re a person in that state, who need in any of those states, and by those states, I mean pretty much anywhere in the south or the Midwest. Yeah. Your options are seriously limited. You can travel to a clinic in a state like Illinois, or my home state of Colorado.

Gloria Riviera 

Which Kavanaugh alluded to in his in what he wrote with the opinion. I mean, walk me through that because my understanding is that Justice Kavanaugh, the way, what I’ve read and I’m trying to get up to speed here is that he wrote he would support travel, but he also obviously voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade. But why would he make that point?

Lauren Rankin 

He’s trying to somehow respectability politic. Yeah, what he did. So he struck down Roe, he ended the national constitutional right to abortion. There’s no other ifs ands or buts about that, buddy. So, some states like Missouri have proposed banning or criminalizing, leaving the state for an abortion. It’s very unclear how that would actually work since crossing state lines means it could be federal jurisdiction or the state you’re going to, what’s really important to know is that states like Massachusetts, which are pro-choice states have already said we will not participate or support any prosecution of anyone who comes to our state for an abortion. So if you live in Texas, and you’re traveling to Illinois, for example, you don’t necessarily have to be afraid of that. What is laughable about what Kavanaugh said is sure, you can travel 3000 miles to a clinic. Let me let me see about taking off time from work, finding childcare for my kids, right? Gas is really expensive. What if I don’t even have a car?

Gloria Riviera  24:11

What if you need a hotel, right? Like you can do it. I’m not going to stand in your way. Life will stand in your way.

Lauren Rankin 

Totally. Okay. And that’s where the community comes in here. Right. We’ve seen an unbelievable wave of support financial and emotional for organizations like abortion funds, which provide funding for abortion care. There’s an there are organizations like the Midwest access coalition that are dedicated solely to practical support. They pay for your lodging, they pay for your travel, they book it for you, they find you child care, all of those things you’re going to need and there are organizations that do that, you know..

Gloria Riviera 

And those are the organizations we should be donating.

Lauren Rankin 


Gloria Riviera 

That’s the other question, of course, I want to ask you because all I’m hearing is vote pro choice. Okay, great. Yes, I will. But the time is here. What do I do today? There was not an election today.

Lauren Rankin

Thank you so much for saying that, because it’s been really frustrating. Yes, I agree. When the elections come, we better be voting for candidates who support abortion rights, and not only support it, but have concrete promises of what they’re going to do. But in the meantime, if you’re a pregnant person in Oklahoma today, you don’t care about the election in November right now, you need to get an abortion immediately. So, your money should not be going to the Democratic House caucus. Or, you know, it shouldn’t even be going to major organizations like Planned Parenthood, it should be going to abortion funds, you can find an abortion fund at abortionfunds.org find one near you or find one in a state that’s hostile, any of them will help find a practical support organization like the Midwest access coalition, like fun Texas choice. It’s an amazing organization that does practical support for Texans who need abortion. And think about volunteering as a clinic escort or asking an abortion fund, how can I get involved? Do you need hotline operators? Do you need someone to donate hotel points? Do you need someone to donate airline points? Those things can really add up?

Gloria Riviera  26:20

And this is the community right? This is how the community is being called right now. And I think that that’s so important. I mean, to all of our listeners, we talk about how devastating it is to feel alone. Everybody listening, you are not alone, there are ways to help today, you do not have to wait for an election.

Lauren Rankin 

Completely. And what’s so beautiful is that this network already exists. Yeah, it had to exist, because the federal government refused to do anything. But this infrastructure is there. So instead of going to join some random Facebook Underground Railroad group filled with well intentioned lovely people who don’t actually know quite how to connect in this movement, reach out to an abortion fund, they will gladly take your money and your time and tell you exactly what they need you to do. It’s just there’s so much that we can do. And I really believe we cannot get lost in a feeling of hopelessness and despair, because that’s exactly what the other side wants us to do. People still need abortions. And those of us particularly, those of us with privilege can help them get them. We need to let people know, just like you said, you’re not alone. You are not alone in this and most Americans support legal abortion. It’s not unpopular.

Gloria Riviera 

I know, I read that you tweeted that as well. And that this idea of abortion, as you said before, it’s not a political issue. It’s a people issue. So when you say most Americans support abortion, talk me through that, is that like 51% of Americans support abortion, or you know, what, what does it look like to you?

Lauren Rankin 

There are so polling is very consistent on this from Pew and Gallup. Anywhere from 67% to 75% of Americans recently have said I want Roe versus Wade upheld. Yeah, that’s not close. Right? It’s not, that’s not even close to half. It’s very clear that Americans when you ask them, Are you pro choice or pro life? That gets murky for people? Because some people personally do oppose abortion, but don’t believe that should be forced on someone else? And that makes total sense. You get the right to choose whether or not you want to have one.

Gloria Riviera  28:34

Yeah, I mean, and that is what it looks like. It looks like we’re i to become pregnant at a time I was not planning, was not equipped to have a child. Who knows what choice I would make if I was pro if I was someone who did not want to choose an abortion for myself at that time, fine. I have that choice. But politically, I support everyone having the choice.

Lauren Rankin 

Exactly. And when you ask people, do you support abortion? People get kind of feel icky answering that because stigma around abortion is so pervasive, right? when you ask them, do you think a person should experience protesters outside of a clinic? The vast majority of Americans say no. Do you think that someone should have to wait 24, 48, 72 hours between appointments so that they can actually have an abortion? Most Americans say no, they don’t actually like abortion restrictions and bans. Okay, but we’ve turned we’ve allowed abortion to become this issue where we just we can’t even say the word we say any, you know, it’s like, right to choose women’s right to choose. And all of those things are true, but what are we talking about? If we can’t defend the thing we’re talking about by saying the word Why would anyone else want to defend it?

Gloria Riviera  30:13

I remember covering this in Missouri and the law had just gone into effect there. I don’t know if it was, it was across the state where the woman had to be read from a booklet basically saying something to the effect that you’re, it didn’t refer to as a child. But do you know what I’m talking about right now? Yes. Okay. So can you So walk me through because I recall being told that patients coming in for abortions, they definitely had to have the 24 hour 48 hour or whatever it was, wait between appointments, but they also had to hear something read to them? Yes, by the doctor, by a nurse. What was that?

Lauren Rankin 

So what you’re talking about is state mandated counseling forever. abortion? Yes. And I, I am fully in support of anyone who has an abortion, having all of the medical information from a medical provider about abortion. Like, for instance, abortion is 14 times safer than childbirth. There is no definitive link between abortion and breast cancer. But what these laws do, and it’s not just Missouri, these laws, I think there are upwards of like 1520 states that require your abortion provider to knowingly lie to you and tell you something that isn’t true, like abortion can cause breast cancer, that is not true. Abortion causes infertility. That is not true. These are demonstrably unscientific falsehoods, complete falsehoods, and you’re being forced to listen to someone tell you that tell you at what point your fetus can feel pain, which is not based on any scientific finding, finding is just the random ramblings of anti choice lunatics who are looking to make you feel like crap.

Gloria Riviera  32:06

And being shown the sonogram, right?

Lauren Rankin

Yes, some states force you to be shown and some even force you to look at it, you will have to look at it. And some people want to, some people are terminating unwanted pregnancies because of a fetal anomaly or whatever reason some people want to do that. But a lot of people don’t. Right. And no one makes you look at a photo of your knee surgery.

Gloria Riviera 

I know. I know. I know. That’s a very good comparison. I’m shifting gears because I want to look ahead a little bit. I know that it’s important that our listeners know they are not alone. They have choices right now, even if they’re in a hostile state, living in a hostile state. What is on the line going forward? Because my fear is that we are where we are now. But it will only become more restrictive. And I’m worried about a pro life President, I’m worried about losing the House or Senate, I’m worried about what could come next, that could make this even more difficult.

Lauren Rankin 

You are not wrong to be concerned about that the conservative majority on the court made it very clear that this is the tip of the iceberg. overturning Roe versus Wade wasn’t the end, the beginning, what I see is next, even if we maintain a Democratic president in 2024, and even if we somehow managed to maintain democratic control of Congress, this Supreme Court is very conservative, very emboldened, and very young, the oldest member of the Conservatives is Clarence Thomas, and he’s 73. So they’re not going anywhere. What they want to do now and they’ve said this very clearly in the in the ruling, they want to rollback the entire right to privacy. So what falls under that is same sex marriage. Same sex intimacy, Lawrence v. Texas at 2003 ruling that said banning sodomy is unconstitutional, because duh. And what’s really scary is they want to get rid of Griswold v. Connecticut, which was the 1965 ruling that granted Americans the right to contraception, they want to eradicate the right to privacy framework as a whole. We don’t know where it’s going to go in terms of right now, Oklahoma bans abortion at the point of fertilization, which is technically before pregnancy actually happens if we’re talking scientifically.

Gloria Riviera  34:36

Okay, so Lauren, this is happening in real time. I can’t I just I can’t I don’t know how to feel about all that. I feel completely overwhelmed. What Clarence Thomas wrote, what Justice Thomas wrote scares the hell out of me. Me too. I can’t believe it’s happening. And I feel like initially you said, there’s so many ways that the community can come together to make people in hostile states feel not alone. How do we handle this? Because basically, we have three justices appointed by a president who was impeached twice and lost the popular vote. And I mean, the beauty of this podcast for me after spending so many years as a journalist is that I can say what I want. And this is Mitch McConnell’s life goal coming true. A far right conservative Supreme Court. And I believe he stomach Trump for as long as he could, because his eye was on the prize. And that was a far, far right. Supreme Court. Yes. So now we have basically, I mean, I’ve heard people say you have politicians in Judges robes on the Supreme Court? So what do we do because I feel incapacitated right now.

Lauren Rankin 

That’s totally understandable. I want to validate your feelings.

Gloria Riviera  36:04

My therapist would say that was the right answer.

Lauren Rankin 

I can hear my therapist in my head saying that to me, what I find both tragic and heartening, at the same time, there was actually only a brief window of time in American history, where the Supreme Court didn’t totally suck. You know, for Brown versus Board of Education in 1954 was kind of the turning point before then, they upheld all sorts of absolutely bananas, insane ideas. Plessy v. Ferguson, which suddenly I separate, but equals cool, Buck v. Bell in 1927, which said, yeah, we can forcibly sterilized people we don’t like. Yeah, so the Supreme Court has actually never really been this bastion of justice and equality that the last 50-60 years we’ve, we’ve kind of portrayed it as, I will also say this, laws are only as effective as the people who abide by them. If those of us in positions of power and privilege say absolutely not, we are not going to stand by idly while you prosecute people for having abortions, we are not going to stand idly by while you take votes away from Black people, in order to actually combat a sort of fascist takeover of the way that this country is functioning is for everyday people to assert their power. I am not going to pretend to be a constitutional lawyer. But I will tell you this, the Constitution only has the amount of power that we give it. And for a long time, I think we’ve really just hoped that the Supreme Court would be the bulwark against the forces of bigotry and hatred in this country. It failed us. So now what are we going to do, we need a new plan, and it looks radical, it looks like a community, it looks like mutual aid, it looks like not expecting someone in a black robe to save you. And that’s scary as hell. That’s very scary. But it’s also liberating at the same time, and black and brown people in this country have survived way worse. And they know how to be resilient and how to organize and I’m taking my cues from those folks.

Gloria Riviera  38:30

Absolutely. 1,000% agreed. I think back to this, you know, as you said, White cis women have, you know, arguably been coasting on Roe and it makes me think of, oh, I used to think, you know, Ginsberg and Scalia. Oh, they were good, good friends outside of the court, and you know, this hope. And then things got scarier and scarier, that it would all be fine. And guess what, it is not freaking fine right now. And to say that you’re taking your cues from people who have been through generations of trauma. I mean, we are in trauma right now. We are in a crisis, traumatic state, to take cues from people who have truly been there and persevere through it before is a good piece of advice. And it makes me feel less incapacitated. I am you know, I want to thank you, Lauren, I want to thank you for bodies on the line. I want to thank you for all your work you did at those clinics. I want to thank you for coming on and speaking to our listeners. I mean, listeners, you are not alone. There are ways to obtain an abortion if you need one, there are ways to be part of the community supporting this new reality that we are all living in and I am an optimist and I believe that we, you know, we are starting a new, but we’re starting with some progress in the mindset of many, many, many people in this country. So, let’s start there.

Lauren Rankin  40:00

Hope is revolutionary. Hope is radical.

Gloria Riviera 

Yes. Yes. Thank you so much, Lauren.

Lauren Rankin 

Thank you, take care.

Gloria Riviera 

You too. Take care of yourself

Gloria Riviera 

Okay, how are y’all feeling after that conversation? I am still angry. I’m still scared. But I am also hopeful and empowered too. Lauren is pretty amazing and I’m so glad she gave us actionable steps to take to channel our rage and our fear. A couple of points I want to make sure we all digest. As Lauren said, abortion is not illegal in this country. Abortion is banned in certain states. And that’s a very fluid situation. Because it’s so fluid. I don’t even want to mention what the status is in any particular state. Because I don’t want to misinform anyone. When things are scary, and in flux, knowledge is yes, power. So don’t assume abortion is illegal where you live right now, even if your state has a trigger law on the books. In some cases, those laws do not go into effect for 30 days. In other cases, judges have issued temporary restraining orders, blocking those trigger laws from going into effect. So check reputable sources to make sure you have the latest information. We have linked to the New York Times landing page for all of their Roe vs. Wade coverage, you will be able to see up to the minute information about everything that’s happening in the wake of the ruling, you can find that in the shownotes go there if you need it. And something that struck me over the last couple of days, people are very scared as a result of this ruling. So much so that they are stockpiling Plan B. This has led to fears of shortages, which in turn has resulted in places like CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Amazon, placing restrictions on how many packages someone can buy, that might change. Look, I get the fear. I even checked out the shelf life of plan B because there are young women in my life of reproductive age. And I just wanted to be sure they have it if they need it, or their friends need it. But it is something to take into consideration because if people with privilege, right, buy a bunch of plan B in case they need it. That means people who need it right now may not be able to get it. Okay, so people who may not have the means to afford multiple packages of plan B in advance, right? So let’s look out for each other, even as we are scared ourselves. We are actively watching women’s rights being taken away right now. And you know, forever. It has seemed even the work women do has been invisible and underappreciated and undervalued. And that’s part of the reason we started this show. There was a moment last year where it seemed like the infrastructure bill would finally help make the childcare crisis better. That didn’t happen. But next week, we’re going to go back to our first episode which really laid out how broken childcare is. It’s one of the fights we are still going to have to work on and on the episode after that. We are going to keep things moving. Like we always have, one foot in front of the other. I love you guys. See you next week.


NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US is a Lemonada Media original presented by and created with Neighborhood Villages. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Alex McOwen. Veronica Rodriguez is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. Our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me Gloria Riviera. If you like the show, and you believe what we’re doing is important. Please help others find us by leaving us a rating and writing us a review. Do you have your own experiences and frustrations with the childcare system? Do you have ideas for what we could do to make it better? Join the no one is coming to save us Facebook group where we can continue the conversation together. You can also follow us and other Lemonada podcasts at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms. Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week. Until then hang in there. You can do it.

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