Yoga is also knowing that abortion-bans are bad. — Yoga The World
I am devastated at the news that the US Supreme Court has overturned the right to abortion. This ruling will cause suffering and death, and it will contribute to inequality. But you know what it won’t do? It won’t have any impact whatsoever on how many abortions occur.
Abortion is a complicated topic, emotionally and ethically. But it really isn’t complicated in terms of how legislation affects how much it happens. There is research on this. And that research is clear. Decades of studies consistently show that abortion bans lead to underground, unsafe abortions accompanied by spikes in death and morbidity, especially for resource-poor or otherwise marginalized people.
They also show that banning abortion does not make it go away. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.
I know that the US Supreme Court Justices know and understand this, because it is not rocket-science. This is how I know that the purpose of today’s ruling is control and punishment. It is not meant to lower the number of abortions, because it cannot. It is meant to control any expression of sexuality that is unrelated to reproduction, and punish anyone not in agreement with that agenda.
I also know the ruling will disproportionately affect marginalized or low-income abortion-seekers. I know that even if those of us with resources and within the mainstream are inconvenienced by the ruling, we will rarely be punished for transgressing it.
Those are heavy facts to sit with.
But then there is this. The US Supreme Court has ruled on the wrong side of history so many times in the past. On slavery. On equality. On gun control. On state rights. This ruling will not stand the test of time, in part because it is not even reflecting the opinion of the majority of the American population. For this I am grateful.
In the meantime, we have work to do. Support abortion funds. Move money to reproductive justice groups like Sister Song and In Our Own Voice. Become an abortion clinic escort. Host folks in your home if they had to travel to your state to get healthcare. Hold us all with loving kindness, because we will need it.
And above all: take the time to feel the grief and devastation of this moment. Do not shy away from it. Sit with it. There is wisdom in our ability to empathize and rise up.
Originally published at https://www.yogatheworld.org on June 24, 2022.