Roe V. Wade May Be Overturned: What It Means and What You Can Do About It

Abortion rallies emerge all over the country Saturday, May 14.

(The Guardian)

Abortion rallies emerge all over the country Saturday, May 14.

On May 3, Politico reported that the United States Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade, backing it up with the leaked opinions written by Justice Samuel Alito. This was confirmed as true the next day by Chief Justice John Roberts. This should not come as much of a surprise, however. As soon as Donald Trump nominated three justices to the Supreme court in four years, dramatically shifting the courts to a 6 to 3 conservative majority, we knew this was coming. 

It still did not feel real. 9 people made this decision: 2 of which have been accused of sexual assault, 6 of which are men, 6 of which are Catholic, 5 of which were appointed by a president who did not win the popular vote, at least initially. This decision was not democratic.

With this decision, the legality of abortion is now up to individual states. This means that as of right now, 23 states will institute bans with 13 states having a trigger ban, meaning that a ban would be instituted immediately when the official decision is released. Pennsylvania, although protected right now by the veto power of Governor Tom Wolf, is in danger of becoming one of these states. If an anti-abortion governor wins the election in the fall, access to abortion in Pennsylvania will become illegal. We must do everything in our power to stop that from happening. 

Like most things, this decision will have the most devastating impact on minority, working-class, disabled, and non-cis people who can give birth. Systemic racism will profoundly impact who this decision affects. In Pittsburgh, black mothers are 2 times more likely to die when giving birth compared to white mothers. Black people seek about 44% of abortions in Pennsylvania while making up only 11% of the state’s population. This decision will devastate the Black community. Fueled by racism, sexism, homophobia, and class discrimination, overturning Roe v. Wade is a life-threatening continuation of the systems of inequity this country was built on.

This has been coming for over the last 2 decades, with conservatives packing the courts and Senator Mitch McConnell preparing for the moment we see today. It is not a surprise, but the lasting impacts will be devastating, and the precedent serves as a threat to other ‘guaranteed’ rights in this country. We must fight like our lives depend on it because they do.

The following are steps we must take (individually, locally, state-wide, and nationally) to fight to overturn or reduce the impact of this decision.


We must elect Josh Shapiro in the gubernatorial election in the fall midterms on November 8, 2022. Because Pennsylvania has a Republican majority in both the State House and Senate, if a Republican governor is elected, Pennsylvania will make abortion illegal. Currently, Governor Wolf is the only thing stopping abortion from being made illegal right now, but he is stepping down before the next election. We must elect Josh Shapiro to replace him. He is the only guarantee that Pennsylvania will remain a state that provides abortion. 

  • Here: Donate and volunteer for the Shapiro campaign.


Local, on-the-ground organizations need the money to be able to supply abortions no matter what. The following are organizations doing essential work to fight back and provide critical health care. 

Please donate, volunteer, and get involved:


For people who can get pregnant, get on birth control. With the overturning of this case, it is not unlikely that birth control will soon become restricted and access to abortion if necessary will also be extremely difficult. 

  • Here: Planned Parenthood explains the types, prices, and effectiveness of different birth control methods
  • Here: Planned Parenthood guides where and how to access birth control in Pittsburgh. 


One solution to reversing this decision is codifying Roe, or making access to abortion a federal law. In order to do this, we must have a pro-choice house and a supermajority in the senate (60/100 senators must be pro-choice to bypass the filibuster) who are willing to push the issue and unrelenting work to codify the right to abortion. Vote and work to elect pro-choice candidates in November. Register to vote, register your friends to vote, and register strangers to vote. Our bodily autonomy is on the line.

  • Here is the official form to register to vote in Pennsylvania. 
  • Here is the list of Planned Parenthood endorsed candidates across the nation, including in Pennsylvania, for the upcoming midterm.


This decision does not happen without the minority rule that has dismantled our democracy. We must work to make voting accessible, and ensure elections (especially in PA) are not in danger of being overturned by an anti-democracy secretary of state and an anti-democracy state house/senate. 

  • Watch out for efforts from Allderdice advocacy groups in the fall to help register students to vote in the midterms.
  • Donate and volunteer for New Pennsylvania Project. They are working on the ground to expand the PA electorate, particularly to minority voters. 


Continue to demonstrate, speak, and stay loud. We do not win this fight by staying quiet, we win this fight by challenging all facets of power to listen to us. Youth are the greatest asset to this movement for bodily autonomy because we are going to bear the greatest burden of this decision. We must continue to post on social media, walk out in protest, and demand answers. We must not back down.