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Class privileged white women will likely have their abortion access far less infringed upon than poor people and women of color.

By Muqing M. Zhang On Oct. 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her and despite two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, coming forward stating that Kavanaugh has a history of sexual violence. Since before and after the confirmation, serious concerns were raised with regards to what will happen to abortion access. While many publications have correctly argued that abortion access will be further restricted, an understanding of the hugely different impact that greater abortion restrictions will have on privileged versus marginalized people has been lost. Abortion access will not be restricted evenly across the population of people who can get pregnant. Instead, the harmful impact will be highly disparate, landing largely on those who lack the class and race privilege to circumvent the flood of restrictive abortion laws that are coming, while class privileged white women, many of whom supported Trump and Kavanaugh, will be able to evade the brunt of these laws. Kavanaugh’s oppositional stance on abortion is clear. In a 2017 speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Kavanaugh argued against the “tide of free willing judicial creation of unenumerated rights” when praising Associate Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe, which held that the right to abortion fell under the umbrella of the right to privacy. It is highly likely that Kavanaugh will vote with the five-member conservative majority against the four-member liberal minority of the Supreme Court when it comes to abortion. Abortion access was first legalized in Roe v. Wade in 1973, in which the Supreme Court legalized abortion by ruling that the right to abortion was encompassed within the right to privacy, which was an already established right. The court in Roe established a standard based on the different trimesters to be applied to every case that evaluated whether a law or regulation that restricted access to abortion should be struck down or not. The Roe standard was eventually replaced in 1992 by Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe’s core ruling that legalized abortion but created the standard that exists today with regards to evaluating the constitutionality of laws that restrict abortion. The Casey standard, also referred to as the “undue burden” standard, states that if a “regulation has the purpose or effect of placing a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking abortion,” then the court will strike down the regulation or law.
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Abortion doulas work to normalize the termination process from start to finish.

While most people have heard of birth doulas and generally understand their support role during pregnancy, labor, and after, very few have heard of abortion doulas and know even less about what they do to support people terminating pregnancies. Gina Martinez Valentín first heard about abortion doulas from Hip Mama magazine 20 years ago: “There was an article about a young single queer mom who was showing up and helping her friends when they were having an abortion, to offer support. For unrelated reasons the mom ended up dying, and that’s when I knew I was going to do this.” Not only is she a working abortion doula now, Martinez Valentín is also co-founder of the Colorado Doula Project, an anti-racist, anti-oppression, full-spectrum reproductive health support non-profit that offers birth, abortion, and miscarriage doula services as well as postpartum and fertility assistance. Even though abortions have been a part of reproductive health since the dawn of time, it’s only been in recent history that access to this important care has been denied and even criminalized. In spite of abortion being legal by federal law, many states—such as Ohio, Texas, Iowa, Arkansas—have been restricting abortion access at the local level in draconian measures that negatively affect women’s reproductive health and choices.
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