On June 24th, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to an abortion was no longer protected. Abortion clinics across the nation scrambled to consult lawyers and console patients. In the face of Dobbs V Jackson, the legal certainty of abortion was thrown to the wind, now determined by wildly varying state laws.

Some states fought back and fought quickly. Abortion is legal in Michigan thanks to the swift efforts of organizers for the Reproductive Freedom for All Amendment. The passing of the RFFA ensured the legal right to abortion in Michigan and prevented a ban passed in 1931 from taking effect.

Other states have not been so lucky. Abortion in Texas quickly became inaccessible. With a six week ban – earlier than most women know they are pregnant – Texas abortion laws remain some of the strictest in the country. Thousands of patients are now forced to travel for care, even when medically necessary, as they are unable to get an abortion in Texas.

Yet the first wave of abortion bans were not the last. In the two years since the court overturned Roe V Wade, states have worked to enact bans where none existed, and stricter bans where they did. Abortion in Florida, for example, had been legal up to fifteen weeks. Yet while the Florida Supreme Court determined the legality of this ban, the conservative legislature passed a more restrictive six-week ban. When the Florida Supreme Court ruled the original abortion ban was constitutional, the six-week ban on abortion in Florida was allowed as well. On May 1st, 2024, the six week ban took effect. Patients across the southeast can no longer seek access to abortion in Florida.

Banning abortion in Texas and Florida does not only impact Texans and Floridians. As more states fall, patients are faced with clinic deserts, living thousands of miles from the nearest abortion clinic. Meanwhile, abortion clinics in states like Virginia and New Mexico become overwhelmed – now serving entire regions instead of their local communities.

But there is hope. Every single abortion rights initiative put on the ballot since the fall of Roe has passed overwhelmingly in favor of abortion rights and access. A dozen more states will get the opportunity to protect abortion with their votes this November, including Florida. But the anti-abortion movement is not slowing down either. It is up to all of us. Even though abortion is legal in Michigan, we cannot stop fighting for national legislation protecting the right to abortion for all Americans.