On the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we're looking ahead.
Today marks 51 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade. The landmark 1973 court case protected the right to an abortion in all 50 states. This made abortion services safer and more accessible throughout the country—but it did not guarantee equitable or affordable access, especially as anti-abortion elected officials chipped away at these rights for the half century, culminating in the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.
But that doesn’t mean a brighter future is out of reach. In fact, since the Dobbs decision, we’ve seen the number of legal abortions remain stable, elected officials pass legislation meant to protect abortion seekers and providers, communities rally in support of their local abortion funds, awareness of medication abortion at an all-time high (same for general support of abortion access—which the majority of Americans are behind), and voters come out in droves to make it clear that they stand for reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy.
As we enter one of the most pivotal years yet for reproductive freedom, here’s what we at Hey Jane want to see in 2024 to ensure that abortion access is protected—now and forever.
The science is clear: Abortion is safe, common, and essential health care. Yet we continue to see partisan judges ignore the facts (and legal precedent) to further their own extremist agendas. In 2024, with two abortion-related cases awaiting rulings by the Supreme Court and dozens more being decided by lower courts across the country, we call on judges to follow the facts, listen to doctors, and rule accordingly.
Since the Dobbs decision, we have seen many states proactively pass legislation that protects and expands access to abortion care. It’s important that they continue to take steps in the coming year. This includes passing shield laws that safeguards abortion seekers and providers, instituting requirements that private insurance covers abortion services, carving out budget to create state- or city-level abortion funds, and more.
One of the biggest barriers to accessing abortion care is cost. But it doesn’t have to be—as the first fully virtual telemedicine abortion clinic to accept insurance, we’re proud to be able to offer safe, discreet reproductive and sexual health care for as little as $0. However, not enough insurers are willing to cover abortion services, including telemedicine services. We are actively working on expanding our coverage, and invite insurers of all sizes to partner with us in providing this essential health care service.
Immediately following the Dobbs decision, it was heartening to see so many businesses, companies, and organizations get loud about abortion access. And for good reason: Among women under the age of 40, 76% are more likely to want to work for a company that supports abortion access. But some of these companies have gone quiet since, while others might be unsure about what they can do to continue supporting their employees' ability to access reproductive care. In 2024, we urge employers to recommit to covering this care—whether through direct partnerships with clinics like Hey Jane or via their employee insurance offerings.
The single biggest thing individuals can do to protect abortion in 2024—and beyond—is to show up and vote. It’s not an overstatement to say that this election may be the most important in history for abortion access, reproductive freedom, and bodily autonomy. For one thing, people in many states will have the opportunity to cast their vote for key ballot measures (including Florida, Maryland, and New York, with advocates in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, and South Dakota all gathering signatures to put their measures on the ballot). State legislatures, the House of Representatives, and the Senate are all up for grabs. And most importantly, all voters will be able to cast their ballot for the next president of the United States—and with it, the future of reproductive health care (including abortion, birth control, emergency contraception, and more) across the entire country.
In spite of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion care is still available—and it’s vital that everyone knows what their options are. In a survey of our patients, nearly half first turned to friends, family, or social media for information—which means that you’re an important resource to the people you know. Continue to share facts, stats, and data, and let people know that you’re there to be a support to anyone seeking care. (If you’re not sure where to start, we invite you to join the Un-Whisper Network, our virtual community for people passionate about reproductive freedom.)
The courts may be few, but the people are many—and when we show up, stand up, and speak out for abortion access, abortion access wins.
While there continue to be threats to accessing abortion care, at Hey Jane we remain undaunted. We’ve helped more than 45,000 patients get the care they need, and we’re not going to stop.
Let’s make 2024 the year that we don’t just protect, but expand abortion access for years to come.