Whether you are just starting your family or you have been a proud member of your family for years now, you would do anything to protect that family. Some people may think that this only means working hard to provide food and shelter and stay faithful to your loved ones, but in today’s society, there is more to think about than just this.
Over the years we have had to fight for our rights and we are learning today even the rights that we have secured for ourselves can be taken away. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the rejection of our right to control our own bodies, we must think about what legal decisions can simply be overturned by the courts. There are so many decisions — such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in the Obergefell decision — that justices on the Supreme Court are looking to now re-assess. These decisions, which we’ve viewed as some of our largest triumphs are now hanging in the balance and we must continue to protect ourselves and our families in the possibility that we lose the rights we fought so hard for.
What the Roe v. Wade Overturn Means for the LGBTQ+ Community
Roe v. Wade’s overturn brings with it a lot of feelings of anxiety and fear about what rights we are to lose next. However, it is important that we hold our focus on the continued and increasing threat to women and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized groups. There is a serious threat to many of our other victories, such as same-sex marriage, but we cannot overlook what the direct effects of the new Roe v. Wade decision are having on our society.
When people think about who the Roe v. Wade decision effects, most people will simply think about women. But this is not the only group that is affected by the decision. Not all people who can get pregnant are women, there are transgender and non-binary people as well who are physically capable of giving birth who are now also facing the same anxiety and stress about no longer being able to have control over their own bodies.
What Happened to Roe v. Wade?
Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that approved the right to abortion in 1973, was overturned on June 24th of 2022. This decision has been like a heavy weight on all of our hearts and many of us are still reeling from the overturn almost a month later. Years upon years of research shows that bans on abortion are the most impactful on groups who are already marginalized — especially in healthcare.
When it comes to marginalized groups in healthcare, the LGBTQ+ community is one of the first that comes to mind. The many individuals in the queer community, as well as the community as a whole, already find themselves needing to fight for the medical services that they need — and in some places, they can be outright denied these services simply based on their appearance, sexual preference, or anything else. There are many queer people who seek abortions or other reproductive health care that already have a hard enough time receiving the services that they need. Now, with the constitutional right to abortion gone, it is even harder for this community. Another thing that many LGBTQ+ couples rely on are fertility treatments or other assisted reproduction methods — but with the overturn of Roe v. Wade, these procedures may also become much more difficult to get.
In general, the clinics that provide abortions are oftentimes the ones that offer the many different types of reproductive health care that members of the LGBTQ+ community uses, including even gender-affirming healthcare that the transgender community uses. But, if these clinics close down, queer people will have nowhere to get the healthcare that they need since many “traditional” healthcare clinics may not provide the services or simply may turn away patients who are trans, gay, or anything else that they do not agree with.
What Comes Next?
In reality, we do not know what is coming next to the doors of the Supreme Court — will there be more precedents that need to be “corrected” or will there be a case that will bring back the human right to control our own bodies that the Roe v. Wade overturn stole from us?
We do not know for sure where the legal system will go and what rights it will give back or take from us. And to be honest, that is a terrifying thought. After years and years of fighting for rights, like same-sex marriage, it is devastating to think that our right to marry the person we love can be taken away from us simply because the Supreme Court has decided that it needs to “correct the error” that was established in some of the precedents that cases like Obergefell created.
The unfortunate truth is that there are Supreme Court justices who are looking at cases like Obergefell as their next targets. To re-rule these cases and take back the rights that they promised when they addressed the cases the first time.
If we want to regain the rights we have lost and protect the rights that we fought so hard for, we need to be strong as a community. We need to come together and stop the blaming, stop the belittling, and simply work together. We may not all be the same, but we are all fighting for the same thing — the ability to live our lives in the way that we want to.
What Can You Do?
You want to protect your family from any and all threats that come, whether they are from an individual or a body of government, like the Supreme Court. We cannot know for certain where we are headed as a society, but we can take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones as much as we can.
This is going to be a hard time for many of us and navigating the legal and work-related procedures that can ensure the safety of our families even if previous court decisions are overturned can be incredibly difficult and tiresome. And while speaking with a professional therapist cannot necessarily help you through this process of exploring legal alternatives to same-sex marriage, should it be overturned, or second-parent adoption, it can help you to navigate you and your family through this difficult time. Speaking to a therapist can be a great way to address the feelings you may be having about what is going on in the world around you as well as discovering strategies and techniques that you can use to cope with any feelings of anxiety or depression due to Supreme Court or other legal decisions.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and upset about the overturn of Roe v. Wade and concerned about the implications that it may have for LGBTQ+ rights, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at Love Heal Grow. We are here to help you navigate these struggles and help you and your family to persevere even if the society around us is trying to hold you back.