Season 2, Episode 5: Processing the Post-Roe Reality with the Inclusive Life Team

A group in deep thought during the Accelerator in 2019.

This episode of the Inclusive Life Podcast is an intimate conversation between Nicole and two members of her Inclusive Life team, Christina Hernandez and Laura Halpin. We convened to talk about our personal responses to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.

We began with our own reactions, exploring our immediate sense of how each of our lives and our loved ones will be impacted. The Dobbs v. Jackson decision impacts all of us, and yet it is vital that we place this decision in a historical, social, and political context: the overturning of Roe v Wade is a massive step in a long history of reproductive oppression targeting Black, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities, who will be — and already are – most harmed by the protections that Roe v. Wade ensured.

Forced pregnancy is a human rights violation, defined by the United Nations as a crime against humanity. Without access to abortion, all people with a uterus lose their ability to control their own destiny. We are seeing the immediate and chilling effects as it interferes with people, including children, getting the protection, health care, and medications they need.

The political landscape has shifted dramatically in the past few weeks as Supreme Court decisions have eroded many of our basic rights. And we know that more rights are on the chopping block. In this conversation, Nicole refers to Clarence Thomas’s “stand back and stand by” concurring opinion in which he offers a road map for what the court will overturn next: the right to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut), same-sex consensual relations (Lawrence v. Texas), and same sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges).  

We must remember – in our desire to respond in the chaos created by this decision – there is a web of reproductive health and reproductive justice organizations working to connect folks in need of reproductive care with protection and services. This is no time to reinvent the wheel which has the likely outcome of putting people in need of abortions at incredible risk. 

Voting is essential, but we must not stop there. If we are not mobilized beyond voting, we are as good as giving up. As Nicole shared, “Our actions need to be aligned with our values.” Values without action are empty and meaningless.

At Inclusive Life, we know that we cannot act effectively or sustainably alone. We must be embedded in community, working against the forces that are designed to keep us isolated and fragmented. And so, in the next weeks, we will be creating a structure to build community around the strategies for the ground war ahead previously defined by Nicole. We are eager to tap into the expertise and leadership of Inclusive Life members.

We are in this fight for the long haul because we must win. 


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In this Episode Nicole, Christina and Laura touch on:

  • Where we were and what our initial reactions were when we first heard that Roe v Wade has been overturned
  • Shame and the way it made conversations about abortion avoidable
  • The implications of Dobbs for women’s healthcare
  • Clarence Thomas’s “Stand Back and Stand By” message 
  • A court run amok: where are the checks and balances?
  • Democrats: what’s the plan?
  • Aligning actions with our values, no matter how the actions poll
  • The next steps for each of us
  • The implications of Dobbs on our parenting
  • The next steps for Inclusive Life in light of Dobbs
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