First and foremost, the team at Lotus Psychology Group wants to remind everyone that the leaked information from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) does not reflect a final ruling on overturning Roe V Wade (at this point). Legislators and Supreme Court Justices regularly draft and propose rulings, bills, and other forms of legislature that never pass. It’s part of the democratic process. So, while you may be seeing information that says that SCOTUS has ruled in favor of overturning Roe V Wade, the truth is that we simply don’t know how far they are in the court proceedings for this potentially destructive change in federal law. It’s important to have all the information and make informed decisions. That being said, this leaked information has been troubling for many women and supporters of women’s rights around the country (and around the world). If you or someone you love has been impacted by this leak, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to read our blog discussing some common concerns women are facing and tips for managing them.
We have already heard from many women who are experiencing higher than average levels of anxiety and stress directly related to the leaked SCOTUS ruling that would overturn Roe V Wade. This is a completely natural and understandable response. We want you to know that what you’re feeling is okay. In fact, our tip to help you manage anxiety and stress related to this issue is to embrace that feeling. It might not feel good, but truly let yourself feel anxious or stressed. When we try to ignore or suppress our feelings, they can last longer, become more intense, or come back to haunt us. Instead, let yourself really feel that worry or pressure, but put a time limit on it. Set a timer for a few minutes. Close your eyes and feel the added stress and anxiety in your mind and body. Are you physically tense? Do you notice any pain? What thoughts enter your mind as you experience the emotions? Are you connecting this experience to any past events?
After you’ve had a few minutes to sit with the anxiety or stress, do something else. Get up out of your chair and go for a short walk. Call a friend or loved one. Do the dishes. Make your bed. Just get moving and change your train of thought. Stay busy for a few minutes and try not to think about or dwell on the distressing event. If the thoughts and feelings come back, start the process over. Do this as often as you need to throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll begin to feel less focused on the anxiety and stress of the situation.
Many women are, rightly so, feeling a bit of righteous anger about the government making decisions about their physical health and reproductive rights. Guess what, it’s okay to be angry too. No toxic positivity is allowed here. You can feel angry if you want. See the previous section about stress and anxiety and give yourself permission to get angry. In addition to really allowing yourself to feel your anger, one great way to curb anger is with action. Make a plan to engage with others who are upset. Go to a peaceful protest, sign a petition, research other ways to get involved, and contact local representatives and others who can help you protect your rights. Taking action can help to alleviate anger.
Fear is another common (and again natural) response to the leak from SCOTUS. Having access to a full range of reproductive healthcare options is necessary and essential for women’s health and wellbeing. Having options taken away, puts women at increased health and safety risks. A good way to alleviate fear is with knowledge and planning. First and foremost, get as much information as you can from local representatives about what you can expect at the state and local level if Roe V Wade is overturned. Then, make a plan to protect your reproductive rights. Increase your birth control and preventive routine. Find options for procuring Plan C pills online, which will give you a safe and private option to terminate a pregnancy since access to these medications is less likely to be impacted. Finally, know your state laws and know the laws in surrounding states that may be more likely to uphold the rights granted under Roe V Wade. Making a plan and knowing your rights can help to alleviate fear and help you feel more empowered.