We are ready to translate our rage about the Supreme Court’s announcement this morning into action. There is no time to waste if we’re going to protect people’s freedom to make their own health care decisions. Most Americans, including those in rural areas, support comprehensive health care and an individual’s freedom to decide whether or not to have an abortion. However, with this Supreme Court ruling, many state legislatures controlled by ​​out-of-touch politicians are already taking steps to ban all abortion.

The impacts of this ruling on the lives of millions depend on our ability to engage voters before the November elections. Will controlling politicians criminalize women and doctors? Or will our representatives lead to help ensure we live in a country where a woman can make her own personal decisions about pregnancy with the support of the people she loves and trusts? State courts will also play a deciding role in determining if restrictions are allowable according to each state’s constitution. And upcoming elections will shape who sits on those courts and which state laws they are reviewing.

RDI’s grantees and partners are hard at work talking about and listening carefully to the interconnected issues that impact the lives of rural people. This reach into rural communities makes us a key part of the mass activation needed to ensure people have the power to decide. For example:

  • Through conversations that inspire empathy and compassion, GALvanize helps conservative women support a woman’s right to decide.
  • Faith in Public Life mobilizes clergy, faith leaders, and people of faith to protect people’s “access to the abortion care they need, when they need it, in the community they live in and trust.”
  • Loud Light organizes young people in Kansas to vote on the upcoming ballot measure on whether to amend the state constitution to remove people's rights and allow politicians to ban all abortions.
  • Dozens of RDI grantees lead efforts that will move votes in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, where rural communities impact statewide outcomes.

The mobilization required over the next four months will be built on a foundation of year-round organizing in rural communities, broad and strong relationships, and compelling messages. These efforts are led by local messengers and trained, well-supported candidates for office. Together we will fight back against this dangerous assault on our freedom.

By Sarah Jaynes, Rural Democracy Initiative’s Executive Director.

Photo Credit: GALvanize