In response to the Supreme Court overturning cases that legalized abortion for many places, the National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota and Jewish Community Action are two of the organizations that are part of the March For Abortion Access on Sunday, July 17. The event is being organized by UnRestrict Minnesota, and those two Jewish organizations are among the partner groups helping to make the event happen.
The coalition is a mix of organizations that cover service providers, legal, and cultural organizations: Gender Justice, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, Pro-Choice Minnesota, Our Justice, Reproductive Health Action Network Minnesota, OutFront Minnesota, ERA Minnesota, Women’s March Minnesota, Women Winning, and Local Progress.
“What’s really great about this coalition is that there are organizations of all different sorts,” said Erica Solomon, the executive director of NCJW Minnesota. “It’s really a rich network of folks that are doing work in this abortion access space, even though that looks like different things.”
The July 17 march will start at noon with groups gathering at Saint Paul College starting at 11 a.m.
“Well before the Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health] decision came, we’ve been working in this coalition, and it’s just been really great as far as just learning more about what these direct service providers are facing and what they are fearing,” Solomon said. “While this wasn’t official until that Friday, a couple of weeks ago, this is something that folks in this space have known, has been coming for quite some time.”
Abena Abraham, the campaign director for UnRestrict Minnesota, said that the coalition has been working together for several years anticipating the overturning of Roe given the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court.
“We’ve been anticipating that Roe would be overturned so we’ve tried to grow access in Minnesota,” Abraham said. “The leak [of the Dobbs decision] wasn’t the first event that raised the alarm. That’s why the coalition has been preparing. We knew Minnesota would be one of the only places in the Upper Midwest that has legal abortion.”
Legal – but with restrictions, such as a 24-hour waiting period, a statement that doctors are required to read before they can provide abortion care that includes untruths like that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, limitations on how minors can access this care, and a law that prevents certain medical practitioners from providing abortion care.
The makeup of the coalition is important because, Abraham said, abortion is an issue that intersects with so many areas.
“Housing, taxes, jobs, gender inclusivity,” Abraham said. “Everyone should have bodily autonomy and make their own decisions about when they start a family.”
Hear more from Erica on our next Who The Folk?! Podcast. Subscribe wherever you get your podcast.