Members of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States have spoken out about their own abortion experiences after Roe v Wade was struck down.
The Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which legalised abortion across the country, on 24 June, meaning that it will now be up to individual states to decide their own abortion laws.
In a 213-page majority opinion, the Supreme Court justices wrote: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
he ruling mobilised protests across the US, and several LGBTQ+ people have raised the point that trans men, queer women, and non-binary people sometimes also need abortions, and they do not want to be left out of the conversation.
Nikki, a 38-year-old queer woman from Colorado, said she told her religious family members about her experience with abortion after the Roe v Wade ruling was announced. She is “terrified” that her “rights as a queer woman will be eroded next”.
She told PinkNews: “I’m livid about the ruling. I’m mad that it happened. I’m furious at the Democrats for not getting it together quickly enough to use their majority to protect Roe federally.
“I’m exhausted of having my rights and freedoms dictated by a bunch of old white men (and the occasional woman).”
Nikki added that she is now concerned that LGBTQ+ rights could be at risk, after Judge Clarence Thomas, in his legal opinion coinciding with the overturning of Roe v Wade, called on his colleagues on the Supreme Court to “reconsider” rulings that currently protect the right to contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.
She said: “Trans men and non-binary people have been left out of the conversation almost entirely, even by supposedly ‘progressive’ voices.
“I’m currently dating a trans woman. I worry for her safety, and I worry that I won’t be able to marry who I love unless it falls within a ‘hetero-looking’ relationship.”
Theo, 20, from Minnesota, said that they are considering moving to a “safer state” after the Roe v Wade news.
Theo is trans-masculine and non-binary, and as well as going through an abortion at aged 14, they worry about further law changes affecting same-sex marriage, or their ability to access gender-affirming surgeries.
“Just because we no longer align with the gender that we have were assigned does not make us irrelevant in a conversation that regards our own bodily matters,” they told PinkNews.
Theo added: “My concern immediately came after Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed; she was a strong and ever-present voice in women’s rights… I always knew that Roe v Wade was on the docket despite what people told me.
“Since I have begun transitioning and started to pass more as man, I have lost my voice in this movement. I have had an abortion… butpeople have told me that my voice doesn’t matter… that I am safe because no one is coming for LGBTQ+ people next. Roe v Wade is just the beginning.
“I am also extremely fearful for the overturn of same-sex marriage as well… I fear that I will never be able to be with someone that I love because of this.”
Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of LGBTQ+ charity The Trevor Project said in a statement: “The Supreme Court’s decision… is causing many people to experience a wide range of concerns for bodily autonomy, LGBTQ rights, and public health, including mental health.
“The Trevor Project’s polling has found that nearly 70% of LGBTQ+ young people say efforts to restrict access to abortion often gave them stress or anxiety.
“Overturning Roe v Wade will allow states to further restrict and regulate essential health care and reduce access to the already limited number of LGBTQ+ competent providers in many parts of the country, posing a threat to the health and safety of young LGBTQ people.
“The Trevor Project will not stop fighting to establish true, lived equality for LGBTQ+ people.”