How to Support Women After Roe

How to Support Women After Roe

Be a better boyfriend, husband, brother, and friend
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By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Sep 9 2022 | 9 min read

Here at SG HQ, our mission is to help you guys look, feel, and act your best. Sometimes, that means skincare tips or a virtual styling session. Other times, it’s helping you navigate what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world. Your Best Behavior is a column about the intersection of style and culture

Last month the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, undoing decades of precedent protecting the right to abortion.

We want to be clear. Here at Style Girlfriend, we believe abortion is healthcare, and that abortion access is inextricable from gender, class, and racial equality. 

Since then, you’ve probably seen your fair share of discussion about what to do – and not do – as a man in this moment.

Here’s the good and bad news: There’s not one right answer for how guys should be engaging in abortion politics right now.

Every woman on our team has an opinion, ranging from Donate your fantasy football winnings to abortion rights organizations to Throw yourself into the sea and let us watch.

But here’s the thing: we don’t want you to let your fear of doing the wrong thing keep you from doing something.

Anything, really.

And since SG’s audience is mostly cis het guys who genuinely want to make the women in their lives happy (from what we can tell, anyway), we’re here to help you make good choices.

So, in case you’re at a loss for how to support women after Roe , we put together a handy-dandy “So The Woman In Your Life Just Lost Agency Over Her Body!” guide.

Below, 4 ways to support women after the overturning of Roe v. Wade:

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1. Money talks

One absolutely failsafe way to support the women in your life right now is by opening your wallet to organizations in the fight for abortion access. 

Abortion funds are a great place to direct your money – they get resources to people who need abortions.

Donating money to help patients get care is a critical part of this moment. Full stop.

Hit up the National Network of Abortion Funds or use this tool to find the fund in your area.

You may have donated to Planned Parenthood and NARAL in the past, but the truth is, right now your money is best spent with organizations that can directly support people accessing abortions.

These larger national organizations already have the war chest and the resources they need in this moment.

Moreover, while they play a large role in the repro movement, they’ve earned a reputation for not being radical enough. 

Right now, radical is what’s required.

2. Listen, and amplify

You’ve probably seen some version of the sentiment that now is not the time for men to be taking up space.

And to be honest, we agree.

Unless you as a cis man can talk honestly about how you personally have benefitted from abortion access (which can be tricky as it necessitates buy-in from the other involved party), it’s best to not lead the charge here.

So, instead of posting a #TBT of you in a pussy hat at the Women’s March to Instagram, consider helping other voices be heard. 

A little solidarity goes a long way. 

Pay close attention to what the affected people in your life are sharing and do your best to amplify it – whether that’s re-posting their stories to your social media, or sharing it with friends and family. 

All of the orgs listed above share great content that is clear and unapologetic about the fight on our hands, which is exactly what we need right now. So feel free to retweet, re-post, and forward to friends.

Want to share content from larger accounts? Try the Center for Reproductive Rights, or the National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Jane’s Due Process is another fantastic organization that provides resources directly to young people in Texas.

Finally, Shout Your Abortion is leading the charge on getting accurate and accessible information out there about medication abortion.

As in-clinic abortions become harder to access with states banning abortion, medication abortion is going to be a critical resource for pregnant people around the country

Abortion pills can be ordered through the mail through the resources listed on the SYA website and safely taken to end a pregnancy in the privacy of your home.

There are even hotlines and advocacy groups you can call with questions along the way in case you don’t have friendly providers locally. 

Silence, stigma, and taboo are some of the strongest weapons against abortion access and the more people who engage in the conversation and illustrate that we have strength in numbers, the harder it is to perpetuate the narrative that abortion is bad or harmful. 

It’s like the Washington Post slogan: Democracy Dies in Darkness.

Here, it’s: Access to Abortion Dies – and Many Pregnant Women, Too – When Everyone Is Too Afraid To Loudly and Proudly Support Access To It.

…Okay, that might not fit on a masthead, but you get our point. 

3. Show up in your personal relationships

The women in your life are likely really struggling, even weeks after this court’s shocking decision. 

If you live in a red state like Texas, Ohio, or Louisiana where access is abysmal, or in community with Black women or women of color (who are hit the hardest by abortion restrictions and who face horrific maternal mortality rates), chances are they’re feeling the impact of this decision tenfold.

They have already been living with the harms of anti-abortion policies, and facing the reality of that getting worse? It’s a horrifying prospect. 

Knowing how and when to check in with the women you care about – whether it’s a romantic partner, your best friend, or a family member – can be tricky. 

Maybe checking in via a 1:1 conversation will feel right. Or donating to an org that supports abortion access in her name would be the right move. 

You might have even seen the TikTok trend where men are going out and buying their girlfriends everything from iced coffee to expensive purses as a consolation prize for, y’know, losing their rights.

Of course, some women would think a gesture like that to be in poor taste, while others might say, “A Gucci bag won’t restore my bodily autonomy but it will give me a little hit of serotonin!”

Point being?

There’s no one size fits all way to show up for the women in your life right now, and part of learning how to support women after Roe is by asking!

If you know someone well enough to know what might cheer them up – do that.

But if you don’t, a simple text that says you’re thinking of them and putting some ideas out there of things you’d like to do would be great.

Try this: “Hey, I know everything feels like an absolute nightmare, and I can never understand what you’re feeling right now, but I’d like to be there for you however I can. I’m going to set up a recurring monthly donation to [X organization] – would it be okay if I donated in your name?”

Or, “I’m going to the abortion rights rally at the courthouse this weekend and I wanted to invite you – I’ll make the signs, bring the snacks, and pay for the Uber, it’s the least I can do!”

Or even, “I’m buying Shout Your Abortion merch for our whole friend group. Here’s the website, pick what you want!” 

And we want to be clear about one crucial part of this tip: we’re telling you to show up in your personal relationships.

These are relationships with women you talk to with regularity – maybe every day, maybe a few days a week. 

Women who share the details of their personal lives with you. Women who text you memes on Instagram with regularity.

These are – and we cannot stress this enough – not women you went on three Bumble dates with two years ago.

Or the chick in your office who you keep flirting with at the vending machine. Or someone you went to college with who you occasionally “heart” her instagram stories after two drinks.

It’s sort of like how white people had to be reminded not to text every single Black person they’d ever met during the Black Lives Matter protests last year.

Don’t be cringe about your support. That kind of behavior is actually actively harmful and disrespectful of people’s boundaries. 

But if it’s someone you’re close with – the kind of person you tell about your day, and ask about theirs on the reg – you can go ahead and feel comfortable checking in about this. 

4. Call in the men in your lives 

And finally, make sure all the men in your life are donating, and amplifying the voices of advocates and experts just like you.

Truly, all of them.

We can’t stress enough how important it is for men to do the work of educating other men about abortion and abortion rights so that labor doesn’t fall entirely on women alone. 

If you don’t know how to get that conversation started, might we suggest…sending this guide along to the group chat?

Tell your friends about this great article you read on one of your fav websites and ask them to read it too, if they haven’t already.

Let that open the conversation and be the first of many interactions you have not just in the weeks following the overturning of Roe – but for the rest of your life – about the importance of abortion and reproductive justice. 

I started Style Girlfriend to help guys look, feel, and act their best.