In a good timeline, no one would have to prepare for a post-Roe world. Reproductive rights would be safely enshrined in our constitution, where they belong. Plus, ice cream would never melt.
Unfortunately, last week’s news made it abundantly clear that we’re in a crappy timeline. I accepted this news with horror, but not surprise. My faith in my elected representatives is as melty as a tub of Americone Dream left on the counter overnight.
But this isn’t the time to despair. It’s time to take action. Someone gave us the incredible gift of forewarning. We have two months to prepare. And there’s a lot of steps you can take to protect yourself and others in your community from the appalling consequences of forced childbirth.
Piggy and I hopped on an impromptu recording session to help our readers and listeners steel themselves for the fall of Roe v. Wade. And I’m thrilled to say we left our aimless thrashing and redundant moralizing on the cutting room floor! (Mostly.) What remained were actionable steps to help you prepare for a post-Roe world.
Listen below, or read on for a text transcript.
Our steps to prepare for a post-Roe world
Here’s some of our talking points from this ~*very special*~ episode.
- Familiarize yourself with your state’s laws. A disgusting half of all U.S. states have trigger laws that will limit or ban abortion immediately upon Roe v. Wade’s overturning. But every state is different. So know thy enemy.
- Know the earliest signs of pregnancy. These include breast swelling and tenderness, sensitivity to smells, nausea, fatigue, increased urination, and (of course) missed periods.
- Have pregnancy tests on hand, and know how to use them. They are accurate to your missed period, or 21 days since potential conception. But they do expire eventually, so check the expiration date on any you already have stockpiled.
- Expand your birth control options to include emergency contraception. Plan B (levonorgestrel) is available everywhere. You can get it over the counter for about $50. If your state has signaled an intention to misclassify them as abortifacients, buy some now.
- If you have no option to safely get emergency contraception, familiarize yourself with the Yupze Method. 2-5 normal estrogen/progesterone birth control pills can achieve the same effect. Use this only as a last resort; be safe.
- If your state is unfriendly to reproductive rights, research alternatives before you need them. Consider including the cost of an abortion as part of your cash emergency fund.
- If your state is friendly to reproductive rights, consider organizing to help others. There’s going to be a massive swell of organizing at the local level to get pregnant people the support they need. Money, transportation, childcare, housing… think now about what kinds of support you’d be willing to give.
- Spread truth. Social media is full of garbage. Fake health clinics (sometimes called Crisis Pregnancy Centers) exist to spread misinformation and encourage childbirth at any cost. When you find good, reliable information, share the shit out of it.
- Protest, vote, and build the guillotines. My nickname in first grade was “The Biter” and if anyone tries to put a bonnet on me THEY’RE GONNA FIND OUT WHY.
Articles mentioned in this episode
Full episode transcript (click to expand)
Yeah, I just took a pregnancy test. Turns out, I’m 100% that bitch.
Theme Song 0:06
If you need some dough
You don’t know where to go
In this patriarchal capitalist hellscape
Well here’s the ‘sitch
We’re gonna help you, sis
Because bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
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And so can you
And I’m Kitty.
And we’re the bitches in Bitches Get Riches.
We are astonishingly pro-reproductive rights.
And we’re here to scream into the void about it!
Our time on this planet is limited.
So let’s get started. We are recording this very special episode of the Bitches Get Riches podcast roughly 24 hours after the Supreme Court draft was leaked describing how they’re going to overturn Roe v Wade, and effectively end safe and accessible abortion access on the federal level in the United States. And that blows!
I think it was important to us to just like hop on and do a quick impromptu podcast to talk about it because knowing that so many of our readers and listeners are young people, so many of our readers and listeners are women and other people who can become pregnant. Those are demographics that are especially impacted by the reality that the timing and number of one’s offspring is the number one biggest impact on personal finances. So this is really important. And for anyone who has ever said to keep politics out of personal finance, [singing] I just want to tell you all to go fuck yourselves! [vocalizing]
[singing] Fuck yourselves!
[singing] Go fuck yourselves!
[singing] Go fuck yourselves!
I know that I am feeling particularly rage-filled and yet also fucking exhausted right now. Anybody else who’s feeling that, just know that you’re not alone. This is something that is affecting all of us. And statistically speaking, you know, the majority of people in the United States support abortion access and reproductive rights, and the fact that our government is essentially misrepresenting us is extremely frustrating and demoralizing.
All the feelings that you might be feeling of rage and helplessness and frustration and fear, those are all totally normal and, I think, potentially positive feelings. It means that you understand what the stakes are. So that’s good. You’re not cold and heartless and disconnected with the realities of our world.
But I also want to give you guys some hope. Give you guys some quality advice, some action items.
I am glad that you have come to the table with those action items. Cuz right now my action item is burn it all down, which I realize is extremely unproductive but that’s how I fucking feel right now!
Construct the guillotine!
[singing] Do you hear the people sing? [laughs] You know, ever since Merrick Garland was not even put before Congress to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, you can’t avoid that this has been coming. Even so, it was still a shock to me. Like I think I literally gasped when I saw the news and I know that I’m not alone in this. It exacerbates a feeling of powerlessness to know that one’s own government does not believe that one is a full person.
Yeah, one of the most resonant ideas that I’ve heard people say about abortion access rights is that women and people who can give birth to children are given less bodily autonomy than corpses. We do not plunder corpses for their still viable organs to sustain other people’s lives. And yet we will force women to undergo essentially a year-long medical nightmare of bearing a child that she or they do not want in order to sustain the life of a being that does not yet exist without our assistance. So.
Yeah, if we don’t have that right to bodily autonomy, to not be forced into mandatory organ donation, basically, if we don’t have that right, then we don’t have any right essentially. You know, your right to ownership of your own body should be inviolable. It should be the supreme right that everyone has on which all rights follow.
Here’s the thing. Guys. Roe v Wade was never a very good case decision.
And this is why I want you all to think about this in a way that is encouraging rather than ‘this is it, this was our last chance.’ They struck down a law that was really, really weak. It was known even before this got to the Supreme Court that this was not a very strong choice of case. Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself said that this was not the case she would have chosen. Roe v Wade was basically decided around this concept called right to privacy. And the right to privacy, you will note is, if you do like a ‘control f’ in our Constitution, no results found. It is not there. And our Constitution goes out of the way to call out a lot of things that are important, but a right to privacy doesn’t happen to be one of them. But basically, proponents of right to privacy at the time, the early 1970s, basically said, well, they don’t call out this right but it’s implied in a lot of other ways.
And I do think that they’re correct. I think they’re correct. But basically the way that the law works—if you guys remember back to geometry class, the way you had to do proofs, and the best basis to prove things is on the basis of the Constitution. That is the bedrock of our government. If you can’t prove it based on that, hopefully there is existing legislation that was passed by our legislative body that you can prove it upon the basis of. But they couldn’t in that case. And then the next thing that you go to is, alright well, what other cases have been determined by either the Supreme Court or by lower courts, what are some accepted rules and modes of thinking, that we can kind of say,all right, if we decided this way in this case, then that means this other rather similar case must be decided in the same way. So that’s kind of how it works. And right to privacy, I think, is a really, really valuable idea. And I agree that all Americans, all human beings, should have a right to privacy, but the fact is that it’s not codified into our Constitution. And it’s not defined. So it was a really weak basis to bring this case forward. So, there is something that was in our Constitution at the time, and still is, that is a much stronger basis. And that is gender discrimination. So basically what Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanted to do—and she was really like a genius when it came to getting people to come to her mode of thinking, who otherwise politically, ideologically would not agree with her. Basically, what she wanted to do was there was a case where there was a woman who was working I believe in the United States Air Force—
Oh I know this case!
This woman was pregnant. And at the time, abortion was not legal in the United States, but it was legal on foreign army and naval and air bases. So she was on a military base and she was told, either you quit your job cause we don’t think you can do this job and be pregnant at the same time, or you get an abortion. And that was the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wanted to bring. Don’t you think that that seems like it is discriminating against her based on the fact that she has a uterus and she can reproduce? Instead of this right to privacy, which is like, not really well-defined yet in the law and not codified in our Constitution. What is in our Constitution is that you can’t discriminate on the basis of gender or sex. That would have been a much stronger case, and that’s why it’s been under attack in hundreds and thousands of different ways over the last 40, 50 years.
Just constantly. Well the very next Supreme Court case concerning abortion was Planned Parenthood v Casey, which described the timeline for abortions instead of being trimester-based to being viability-based. So that immediately opened things up for various anti-abortion groups to say, aha. Well, if we can convince the world that viability starts at 20 weeks or 12 weeks or 4 weeks or before somebody even knows they’re pregnant, then we can stop abortions. As the late, great Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw, this was an extremely weak case to base the law on and it was immediately open for attack. This has been such a fragile right that we’ve had even since day one.
Yeah, the fight has always been ongoing. We bought ourselves a lot of time but now it’s time to bring this back to the forefront. So let’s talk a little bit about if in June, in fact, Roe v Wade is overturned.
These states’ trigger laws will go into place like that. [snaps] That was a snap, did you guys hear that? I don’t know, I’ve got lotion on, it’s making it hard to snap. [laughs]
The trigger laws say that as soon as Roe v Wade is overturned on the federal level, abortion is outlawed in this state.
Yeah,it’s a great idea for all of our listeners to know what their specific state laws are slashwill be if this happens, if they are one that has a trigger law. If you just google abortion trigger laws, everybody’s got a beautiful infographic where you can cover over your state and double-check, but they are a lot of Southern and Midwestern states. If you live in a real red state, it’s very likely that your representatives have voted these trigger laws into place.
On that note, I just want to say, I live in Colorado, which is a blue state in the middle of the sea of red, and my local activists are already talking about raising funds for abortion refugees from the states around us. So if you find yourself post-trigger law in need of an abortion out-of-state, familiarize yourself with the closest state where you can go to get that health care access you need.
Yes.Exactly. For every state that has a trigger law in place penalizing people for seeking abortions or helping others get abortions or just having miscarriages, like it’s such a fucking mess, there is another state that has passed abortion protections.
Outlawing abortion is not going to decrease the number of abortions that happen. It’s just going to make them more dangerous for the people having abortions. People will continue to find a way out of a desperate, unwanted pregnancy. So our goal is to make that as safe and accessible as possible. Obviously, we’re not doctors and we’re definitely not lawyers, nor spiritual leaders.
This actually gives me a great opportunity to be super optimistic. Are you ready?
Okay. Younger folks truly may not be super familiar with this, but the horrific ways in which people tried to give themselves abortions before it was legal at the federal level are really horrific. You may have heard the phrase ‘ coat hanger abortion,’ throwing themselves down stairs, trying to rupture their placenta with things like knitting needles, like really horrific things.
Yes. And I am thrilled to say that now is a completely different game. This is not the 1960s. We have access to technology and communication and community that we never had before. And I truly feel that the number of people who will harm themselves or kill themselves seeking an abortion that has been unjustly denied to them is not going to be anywhere near what it used to be. And you know why? It’s because we’re all going to work together, and we’re going to fucking help each other.
I’m gonna give so much advice to young people about how to abort the children that they do not want and I’m going to love every fucking second of it because I respect bodily autonomy and I love each and every one of you and I want you to live the life that you want on the terms that you want.
Well so let’s go through how to get an abortion, like you said.
The first thing is to confirm that you’re actually pregnant. Pregnancy tests are readily available. You pee on a stick or, if you’re like me and you’re not good at aiming your pee, you pee in a Dixie cup and then you dip the stick in the Dixie cup. Like, it’s fine. [laughs]
You heard it here, folks. We’ve got all the best tips and tricks. Generally, pregnancy tests are accurate from the date of your first missed period. If you don’t know when that period was oryou don’t have super regular periods, that tends to be about 21-ish days. If you take a negative test the day after or the week after, you might want to take another one in a week or two just to follow up to be 100% sure. If you have an HSA, you can use your HSA funds to purchase a pregnancy test. So how might you know that you are pregnant? Symptoms of pregnancy in the earliest stages—
It’s just craving pickles and chocolate, right? That’s what all the sitcoms tell me.
That is what I learned growing up watching Nick at Nite. Yes. So that information is correct. Actually, smell. Sensitivity to smell and having headaches. Tender, swollen breasts. I actually almost went out and bought a pregnancy test earlier this month because I was like, why are my boobs huge?Don’t have an answer, I was not pregnant and my period started this morning. Nausea, increased urination, fatigue. I think those are kind of the major ones. And also, I’m just going to throw out like, maybe this is too woo-woo, but if you feel like you might be pregnant. I have talked to a lot of friends who have conceived children and they have told me, I just had a weird feeling. I woke up feeling like, I think I’m pregnant.
Better to just pee on a stick and find out for sure.
Until we get new laws in place to protect everyone’s reproductive rights, time is the most valuable currency that you have when trying to avoid having a child that you do not want.
Don’t wait.Exactly. Even in states where abortion will continue to be legal, there are some states that have time limits. And that’s really not fair. People should have all the time they need to make a decision and weigh their options. But unfortunately, time is a factor because of legal reasons not necessarily health reasons. So, let’s say you’ve peed on that stick. Congrats, you’repreggo. What do you do next?
Alright so the first you do is you call your doctor and you go in for another test because at your doctor’s office, they can do more accurate tests. And also your doctor should be well-informed about your state’s options and will be able to recommend, if you do in fact want to pursue having an abortion, they should be able to help connect you with those services.
Yes. And if you don’t have a doctor, go to Planned Parenthood or another free or low-cost clinic. Be extremely careful to avoid places that are crisis pregnancy centers, or CPC’s.
Yeah, they will sneakily try to make themselves look like they are a health clinic when in fact they are—
They are a propaganda machine whose entire purpose is to convince people to carry on their pregnancies without offering very many resources.
And often by telling lies.
We have a link on our website that will direct you to a list of legitimate clinics in your area. So definitely go to our article, How To Get An Abortion for that information. Okay. So what do we do once you confirm that you are absolutely pregnant and you decided that you need an abortion?
So, unfortunately, some states do restrict how insurance can interact with abortions. Some say that insurance companies are not allowed to cover the cost of abortions, that that must be paid out of pocket. If you happen to live in one of those states, I am so freaking sorry that I have to say this, but I think you should include the cost of getting an abortion as part of your emergency fund. And do your best to never touch that money for anything else because we never ever ever want cost to be the thing that stops you from making the choices that you think are best.
If you can’t afford an abortion, like how the hell you gonna afford a baby?
Yeah. If you are in a state that does allow abortion, you should be in good hands now. They will be able to give you instructions, and you need to follow those medical instructions exactly. So usually you are given, for an early abortion which is done through pills, usually you are given a pair of pills. So like, be really good. Don’t just take the first pill and forget about the second, don’t take them both at once in a panic thinking that that will give you an extra strong abortion, like that’s not how that works.
Yes. I’d like the extra strength abortion. I want to salt and burn the earth of my womb.
A great thing to consider having as part of your repertoire if you are someone who can give birth, is to think about having Plan B on hand. Plan B is awesome. If you have an unplanned sexual contact that you later want to make sure that a potentially fertilized egg does not implant in your uterus. It’s not an abortion, it just basically makes the little nest that your body has built in your uterus less friendly. It makes it into a little slip ‘n slide.
Yeah. If you think of your uterus as the floor of a big top circus tent and sperm as an acrobat, Plan B is the safety net that they place above the floor of the circus tent to catch any eggs and sperm that might be falling towards the warm and cozy nest of your uterus lining about to implant and make you pregnant. It just stops all that, bounces it back up, kind of dissipates…and there goes my acrobat metaphor. But I feel like you guys are picking up what I’m putting down.
You know what? That is not how it works at all but—
Plan B is the same medication as what’s in normal birth control pills. It’s just a higher dosage. Taking 2-5 basically has the same effect. I am not going to recommend to anyone that they DIY their reproductive rights. Please. People get hurt. They get sick, they die when they do that, but I’m just putting that out there. If you happen to be in a situation where you did have access to birth control pills, but you did not have access to Plan B, you were not in a friendly state or country. That’s just information to put out there and please do your research and always be safe. We love you.
Yeah. We love you. Definitely be safe. Can we talk a little bit about what to do if you cannot afford abortion care, or if you have to travel and you can’t afford to travel?
Yes, send me a Venmo request. With just a baby emoji and then the lady who’s got her arms crossed in front of her like ‘no!’
There are state abortion funds all over the United States that are already helping women travel to abortion clinics to get the help they need. They pay for not only the ride but a place to stay if you need to stay overnight. If you have the means right now, donate to state abortion funds. Donate to places that are doing the boots-on-the-ground work of getting people who need abortions into safe clinics with good doctors who are going to take care of you. You are not alone. There are places out there that are always collecting donations to help you with your care.
Yeah. Planned Parenthood, I would also throw in the National Abortion Federation. They are both very, very trustworthy and they can help you at the local level. If you are a younger person and you are on your family’s insurance plan and you feel that your doctor is not someone that you can trust to maintain your privacy. Obviously, you are legally entitled to that privacy. However, I grew up in a small town and I know how small towns work. If you need help finding an alternative doctor, if you don’t have insurance, or you just can’t afford it, definitely contact one of those two organizations, Planned Parenthood or the National Abortion Federation. Abortionfunds.org has a great listing of a national network of statewide abortion funds. So that’s a really good one to check out as well.
I do want to point out that statistically speaking, most people who get abortions have one or more children at home already. So mothers get abortions all the time. And those people have the added stress of figuring out child care during their procedure and recovery. And yeah, it’s a pretty simple outpatient procedure in most cases. But you still don’t want a five-year-old bouncing on your belly and being like, ‘Mom, I want a snack!’ while you’re like, I’m bleeding from my uterus and I’m really uncomfortable right now. Lots of people need abortions for lots of reasons and you don’t know their fucking reasons. So that’s just another reason to keep things safe and accessible. I’m thinking of the case of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. Prepare to be depressed. But this woman basically had a miscarriage. The fetus remained inside her body. And eventually, she went septic and died because the hospital said, we are a pro-life country. We are a religious organization, this hospital, and we don’t do abortions. So instead of saving her life by removing a dead fetus from her uterus. They allowed her to die. The point being, it was a wanted pregnancy.
The lack of a basic understanding of how gynecological medicine works or even just basic gynecological common sense among some of the more recent laws that have been written and are passed and already being challenged immediately because they do things like, oops, we worded it thoughtlessly and so now miscarriages are also criminalized or we’re just going to ignore the fact that ectopic pregnancies are a potential outcome because they are inconvenient to us crafting our morality play in this law.
It’s so fucking discouraging.
It is incredibly, incredibly discouraging. No, I think that lack of imagination leads directly to a lack of empathy. If you can’t imagine yourself in an extreme situation—having three kids at home already and subsisting on food stamps and just having no way of caring for another child. If you can’t imagine yourself in that situation and have a little empathy for those circumstances, like I don’t think you have any business legislating how people decide to run their families and their bodies.
Yup. Besides legal barriers, there are a lot of other cultural, financial, logistical barriers that might be present for someone who’s seeking anabortion, especially if and when Roe v Wade is overturned. So again, I want to refer you guys to our How To Get An Abortion article. It covers a lot of abortion restrictions and how you might want to handle them. What do you do if you’re past your first trimester? What do you do if you are aborting, unfortunately, a wanted pregnancy? What if you are anxious about walking past protesters, or figuring out if your partner will find out, figuring out if your parents will find out, and trying to mitigate both of those situations, if you really need for your partner and/or your parents to not know that you are seeking an abortion. And finally, how to safely self-administer an abortion at home. I think this is a really important one to touch on because if and when Roe v Wade is overturned, I think that there will be tons of misinformation and people who are deliberately trying to trick you for their own ideological purposes. One of the most important ones that I want to throw out is AidAccess. Aid Access is an international organization of abortion advocates. If you are healthy and you are less than 10 weeks pregnant, no matter where you are in the world, they will get abortion medication into your hands. That is an amazing thing, and these people put their lives and livelihood on the line to make that happen.
Yeah. Another similar group is Women On Waves and Women on the Web. They do the same thing, Women on Waves is actually a floating abortion clinic, like on a ship. So if you live in a coastal region, they will come to you and take you out into international waters to perform your abortion. And then Women on the Web does the same thing as AidAccess where they will send you the medication.
I really want to be on a floating abortion paradise island.
Yeah, right? The last thing I want to talk about is, and I think you know where I’m going to go with this, fucking vote. One of the main reasons people have abortions is because they can’t afford a child or another child. So if we get rid of the thing standing in the way of people raising healthy, happy children not in poverty, then people will have less need for aborting wanted children. It’s really important that you choose representatives who believe in providing access, for example, subsidized daycare for children, people who believe in paid parental leave, people who believe in I don’t know, health. insurance. ACCESS. FOR EVERY FUCKING ONE!
I know, I know. I’m coming at you with all of these extremist ideas like—
That people shouldn’t die. [laughs]
Because of lack of health insurance, such a radical idea. The child tax credit we had recently that lasted a year? It lifted children out of poverty and it was the easiest thing, and we just, we let it die. Vote like lives depend on it cause they fucking do.
Yeah, and to those of you who are really, really, really pissed off at the lack of action on behalf of Democrats. I feel you. I really, really do, and I think we can and must do better. But sitting on your ass and not voting because our representatives suck does not actually do anything to change our representation. So I know it’s very frustrating. I encourage you to do the one thing that you can do. And one other thing I will ask. So I know we plugged our article How To Have An Abortion. Please go check that out. Please share that. And in particular, if you listeners are users of Pinterest, I put some pins at the bottom of this article and I really encourage you to go and pin those. One thing that I have noticed using Pinterest is that there’s very little information about reproductive rights and abortion access on Pinterest. Most of what is on there is actually anti-abortion. So if I could make one of our pins go viral, oh my god, it would be How To Have An Abortion. I want that flooded all over Pinterest, s’il vous plaît. Let’s do that.
Yes, silver plat. My last call to action is, and this is going to be hard, and I’m going to try and do it too. But if you have personal experience with reproductive health care, tell your story. Talk to the people closest to you who might be on the fence or just completely opposed to abortion rights and access. This is something that affects us all. If someone knows that someone they love has been affected by the need for reproductive health care and abortion access, they are far more likely to be sympathetic to that cause. So tell your story, spread the word. I know it’s hard. I’m going to try and do it too. We’re really in this together, babies.
I feel mildly unburdened. I feel turnt up, like I’m ready to go fight.
That’s kind of like what it’s coming down to, right, is we had this huge groundswell in 2016 of action among especially women, who really recognized immediate threats that were on the horizon. Those threats took so long to manifest that I think in many ways we lost steam. I hope to see movements like the Women’s March, like mass protests. Please, if that’s something that you can do, do it.
It’s all hands on deck. It’s really fucking important, you guys. If you can’t imagine how this would ever affect you, know that it absolutely affects somebody you love.
Yeah. I really dream of a day when every child is a wanted child and every parent is a willing parent, and we don’t live in a society where our need for poor, desperate workers is so great that it encourages our government and our employers to deny us basic human rights like health insurance and reproductive rights. Is that really so much to ask?
Whooo baby. I don’t think so. Ownership of my own body, I feel, is a relatively small ask, but what do I know? I’m just a lady.
2022 goals: We just want to own our bodies.
[laughs] That’s all we want. Are you good with that?
I guess I’m good with that.
Readers and listeners, if you need more information on abortion access in these trying times, please go to bitchesgetriches.com.Click our article, How To Get An Abortion. Share it, spread it, use the links in that article to get the resources you need, and god fucking speed y’all.
Yeah. Let’s stick together. Let’s do this. This is a blow and it hurts. But you know what, that law was shitty and it was stupid. And we can do better and we deserve better.
And I believe in our ability to enact collective change, even if it requires building the guillotine that I have already begun construction of in my backyard. It’s ready for a pickup truck, just back into my driveway. I will load it in!
Listeners, if you want us to answer your question, go to BitchesGetRiches.com and click “Ask the Bitches.” This podcast is listener-supported. We are committed to never ever putting our best content behind a paywall. So if you like what we do and you want us to keep doing it, you can support the podcast by joining our Patreon at patreon.com/bitchesgetriches. And if you need even more Bitches in your life, you can read our articles or follow us on social media at BitchesGetRiches.com.
Hey, is there anything else they should know?
Yeah, did you remember to take your birth control today?
Oh shit. [sounds of microphone being knocked over and frantic footsteps running away]