The Potential Implications of the Roe Reversal for the LGBTQ+ Community
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Margaret Marnell had only one word to describe how she felt: “Terrified”.
“We thought everything was settled,” Marnell said. “A lot of people are very scared for a lot of their rights. And not just abortion rights, but all of their rights right now, and that’s going to hit LGBTQ people potentially harder than many others.
Marnell, who identifies as bisexual, is an associate board member of Evanston Pride, a fertility and labor doula, and in her second trimester of pregnancy.
As someone whose work centers on LGBTQ+ issues, Marnell said she was particularly concerned about the decision’s impact on the rights of LGBTQ+ people, both in the immediate aftermath and in the decisions. future.
Many fear the bill will reinforce discrimination against trans people in health care and lead to a further rollback of Supreme Court cases protecting gender and protecting same-sex marriage.
Over the past two years, politicians across the country have introduced a slew of bills in state legislatures restricting access to trans health care, and an NPR poll found that 31% of transgender people had no access to regular health care. Whether it’s lack of access due to difficulty finding a job or avoidance due to fear, discrimination is at the center of this disparity, NPR reported.
With the criminalization of abortion, Marnell said, this fear of discrimination will only get worse and lead to harmful consequences for transgender people who become pregnant. Due to the hormone treatments that many trans men use, they may have irregular periods. It could lead to them unknowingly getting pregnant, Marnell said, and by the time they realize it, it might be too late in states that only legalize abortions up to a certain week of pregnancy.
“As an (in)fertility and labor doula, I’ve had clients who are trans men who have decided to wear, and it takes a lot of counseling and talking to people and being okay with it. “, Marnell said. “And if it’s unexpected and unwanted, it can turn your whole life upside down.”
Weinberg junior Dori-Taylor Carter is the former internal chair of NU Rainbow Alliance and works with the Victory Institute, a national organization dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ+ leaders openly. When she discovered that Roe v. Wade had been overruled while on Capitol Hill, she immediately went to the Supreme Court to protest.
“It’s never really happened before that a Supreme Court has taken away rights that were once granted by the court,” she said. “The reality is that young LGBT people are the ones who are put on the chopping block and then it becomes normal to ostracize them.”
As a woman in an interracial same-sex relationship, Carter said she was worried about what the decision would mean for her rights and those who share an identity.
Carter pointed to the competing opinion of Judge Clarence Thomas, in which he said this reversal meant that other landmark cases should be re-examined, including those protecting the rights of married people to use contraception, the legalization of consensual homosexual activity and legalized same-sex marriage.
The cases Thomas raised in his statement revolve around different rights, said Professor Nick Davis of English and Gender and Sexuality Studies, but through the shared experience of having to fight for them , many groups of people can come together to have greater strength in their Numbers.
“Any assault on a gender or sexual minority, even if we only talk about a minority in terms of empowered people…must be fought collectively,” Davis said.
Davis said other countries have a historical pattern of universal strikes and walkouts, but the United States hasn’t often seen similar intersectional protests.
As people become more aware of the impact of issues on diverse identities, Davis said, that sense of togetherness will only strengthen future social movements. He also encouraged intergenerational dialogue with those who witnessed past social movements, such as the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
“Anything that increases our depth of historical awareness of what people have tried and what they have achieved and in league with who else can only be good,” Davis said, “even if we remain mindful errors, omissions and problems and try to fix them as well.
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