Across the Country, Communities Grapple with Landmark Abortion Ruling

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not grant the right to abortion in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. The decision overruled Roe v. Wade, making abortion access a state-level decision. 

The decision sparked reactions from individuals and groups across the political spectrum. In the days and weeks following the ruling, Report for America corps members have spent time with anti-abortion groups, pro-abortion activists and healthcare providers, documenting the impact this decision has had on communities across the United States. We’ve rounded up some of their stories, which capture the range of actions and emotions since June 24:

  • The day that the Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, corps member Abbey Marshall spent time inside the only abortion clinic near Akron, Ohio. While anti-abortion advocates rallied outside, Dr. David Burkons and his staff worried about the fate of their patients. | Akron Beacon Journal
  • For immigrant populations, language barriers, limited incomes, and immigration status have all been barriers to accessing reproductive health services. Corps member Lautaro Grinspan spoke to immigration advocacy organizations and refugee support networks about the impact that the Supreme Court ruling may have on these communities. | Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • In New York, the ruling on Roe v. Wade made for a momentous day, but for different reasons. Anti-abortion advocates celebrated the decision, with some saying they were “grateful for this step forward for women and for life.” For pro-abortion groups, the decision marked a long political fight ahead, Natalia Rodriguez Medina reports. | Democrat and Chronicle
  • In response to some states vowing to make abortion access more difficult — or outright banning access altogether — a handful of Democratic governors have started putting forward legislation that would protect any patients who travel there for the procedure from persecution in their home states, Hannah Schoenbaum and Claire Rush report. | Associated Press
  • On the day of the court decision, thousands of Utahns gathered in Salt Lake City to protest the ruling — and a trigger law that now bans abortions throughout the state. One woman told corps member and videographer Bethany Baker, “I marched with my sister to get Roe v. Wade passed, and it breaks my heart that my granddaughters — and my daughters — don’t have the same rights that I did as a pre-teen and young adult.” | Salt Lake Tribune
  • For transgender, nonbinary and LGBTQ people, the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade feels especially ominous. An unplanned or unwanted pregnancy for a transgender person could “undo a lot of what gender-affirming care is supposed to help with.” The ruling, along with state bans on transgender health services, may be “dominos that could eventually lead to losing the freedom to marry” for same-sex couples, Nirvani Williams reports. | New England Public Media
  • For Indigenous people, the Roe decision was “more of the same” — as one person told corps member Sierra Clark, “Colonization is active today, as a Native woman, it is normal to not have full body autonomy.” Community activists in Michigan worry that the decision will lead to more violence against Indigenous women and girls and create even more barriers to accessing reproductive health resources. | Traverse City Record-Eagle

About Report for America

Report for America is a national service program that places talented emerging journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities. Launched in 2017, Report for America is creating a new, sustainable system that provides people with the information they need to improve their communities, hold powerful institutions accountable, and rebuild trust in the media. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.