By: Jemma Bienenfeld
24% of voters identified abortion as a top concern amid the midterm election. The overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973) became the reason for this concern. The reversal of this decision, made possible by the conservative majority in the Supreme Court, stripped women of their constitutional right to an abortion. Many women became angry due to the reversal.
During the midterms, women chose to vote for more liberal candidates who supported abortion rights. This resulted in many Democratic wins, despite the media’s initial predictions that Republicans would gain control of a majority of congressional seats. This demonstrates the power that voting holds.
In Roe v. Wade (1973) a woman in Texas contested her right to an abortion. The court ruled in favor of Roe and protected abortion under the Constitution. Last year, this decision was reversed by the current Supreme Court.
This left womens’ right to abortion up to individual states and has made it crucial that advocates of abortion rights take up the fight on the state level. Due to this, it is important that people in their states fight for their rights. Small organizations have grown in importance around the country because they help to raise awareness about abortion. Additionally, they aid those who do not have access to them.
The Bergen County nonprofit organization Stanton Strong focuses on fundraising, advocating for change, and educating people on abortions. Stanton Strong was founded in 2016 by Noelle Tutunjian in response to the many Americans who are against women’s reproductive rights and believe in the anti-choice argument. The same year Stanton Strong was founded, Donald Trump was president, and the anti-abortion sentiment across America was expanding.
Stanton Strong has been a powerful organization that spreads awareness and fights for women’s rights. On their social media pages, they keep people up to date on decisions that have been made regarding abortion around the country. Additionally, they hold civil protests and rallies with the goal of convincing New Jersey lawmakers to expand reproductive freedom.
During the pandemic, Stanton Strong members wrote letters to New Jersey senators regarding the Reproductive Freedom Act. The law guarantees women in New Jersey the right to a safe abortion. The law also expands the amount of contraceptive coverage under Medicaid and private insurance companies.
In December 2022, Stanton Strong hosted their annual Holiday Shopping fundraiser and donated 20% of the proceeds raised to the non-profit Whole Women’s Health. According to Tutunjian, Women’s Health “runs abortion clinics around the country, specifically in areas with high demand and low access.” Due to Texas banning abortion, Whole Woman’s Health's “Texas clinic has to now be relocated to New Mexico,” Tutunjian explains.
The relocation of this clinic is a direct result of Roe v. Wade being overturned; due to the reversal of the decision, Texas was able to make abortion illegal. While those who reside in predominantly liberal states where abortion is protected may feel helpless, small organizations allow people to make a difference and help those directly impacted by the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Tutunjian expressed that the greatest way to make a change is through voting. She feels strongly about the potential of young people: “They are in many ways smarter than a big percentage of the population because they understand [better].” This past midterm election demonstrates the immense impact that voting has. Citizens can most effectively generate change and attempt to make the future a better place through voting.