Roe v. Wade Online: One Week Later
A week after the court’s decision, the pro-choice community is reeling and mourning — but they’re organizing, too.
THE BIG TAKEAWAY: Last Friday’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights was 50 years in the making. We took a dive into the first week of digital discourse in post-Roe America and here’s what we found.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The volume of online mentions over the weekend about ‘abortion rights’ and ‘Roe v. Wade’ is huge. Remember how the Roe conversation post-leak dominated the Internet for a week? The post-decision discourse is nearly twice as big.
In response, millions across the Internet have begun to self-organize. On Twitter, abortion rights advocates have protested online using hashtags #BansOffOurBodies and #MyBodyMyChoice:
On TikTok, people have used the song Vent by Baby Keem to express their anger — more than 135,000 times in the past month alone:
Personal abortion stories are trending with the hashtag #OurAbortionStories. The majority of these stories are popping up in states where abortions are still legal.
BUT SOMETHING INTERESTING IS HAPPENING IN TRIGGER STATES: In those states that were just waiting on the Roe decision to overturn abortion access, older women are disproportionately speaking up online. In fact, most people who live in trigger states who are telling their stories are between 55 and 64 years old. The story they’re telling? We’ve been here before, and we shouldn’t go back.
ABORTION IS ONLY THE BEGINNING: Not surprisingly, the discourse has been dominated by overwhelming feelings of anger. But that’s not the only emotion making up a large part of the conversation. Many have expressed growing levels of anticipation in the discourse as people connect the dots between Roe v. Wade and the growing risk to other basic rights.
In particular, there is a growing concern about what the SCOTUS ruling means for the LGBTQ+ community. Justice Clarence Thomas has been mentioned by name in nearly 4% of all posts after suggesting that the Court should reconsider past rulings related to contraception and same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, #PrideMonth and #Pride2022 appear in the top mentioned hashtags within the abortion rights discourse and those participating in pride events have felt the renewed urgency to take charge.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Millions across the country are concerned the dissolution of Roe v. Wade is only the tip of the (melting) iceberg of justice. They’re mourning. They’re worried about what comes next. But they’re starting to fight back with one of the Internet’s most powerful tools: Sourcing powerful, compelling, personal stories — and amplifying them everywhere.
P.S. If you’re looking for ways to contribute, the National Network of Abortion Funds has assembled a map of Abortion resources and providers by state and links to donate and learn more.