Pro-abortion activists, like those pictured here (as well as women like Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlyn Joshua), are driven to support President Joe Biden as Donald Trump calls abortion access a states’ rights matter. (Credit: Katie Godowski, Pexels)

Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlyn Joshua were galvanized into joining the fight for abortion rights – and for President Joe Biden’s reelection – after almost losing their lives without them.

Zurawski, of Texas – a plaintiff in the high-profile case against the Lone Star state’s especially restrictive abortion policies – nearly died of sepsis following a preterm prelabor rupture of membranes. Doctors at the Catholic hospital she went to refused to abort the fetus following the rupture, despite the known risk of infection, as they could still detect a heartbeat. And Joshua, of Louisiana, was refused care – as well as even additional information – for a painful miscarriage. 

So now, Zurawski and Joshua are formally hitting Biden’s campaign trail, embarking upon a two-week journey from North Carolina to Wisconsin to meet with – and tell their stories to – voters, local officials and medical professionals. “I … believe that the Biden and Harris administration is the only administration that could do anything remotely close to addressing the abortion bans,” Joshua told the AP.

Beyond sounding the alarm, telling those individual stories is a critical piece, added Zurawksi, “People don’t get how bad it is, and they don’t get how bleak it is. And so the more we continue to share our stories. … I think it’s really important to spread awareness and paint this picture.”

The cultural conversation around abortion was continued Monday by former President Donald Trump, via a video announcement posted on Truth Social. In it, he said that abortion access should be decided by individual states – before declaring himself “proudly the person responsible” for overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that had made legal abortions the law of the land until it was overturned in 2022.

“My view is now that we have abortion where everyone wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both,” Trump said in the post. “And whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state.”

He continued: “Many states will be different. Many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have [sic] more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people.”

Later Monday morning, Biden shared a written statement with supporters that condemned Trump’s words. “Here’s what Donald Trump doesn’t understand: When he ripped away Roe v. Wade, he ripped away a fundamental right for the women of America that the United States Supreme Court had affirmed and reaffirmed for 50 years,” he said in an email. “Now, we’re in the extraordinary position where women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.”

“That has never happened before in America. And it cannot be allowed to stand,” Biden added, before vowing to voters that he’d restore abortion protections on a federal level.

Indeed, the loss of national abortion protections has had devastating effects on those needing reproductive healthcare, including an observed uptick in maternal mortality rates. Throughout the U.S., abortion access has become spotty and unreliable, if it still exists at all, depending on where patients live – owing to a mix of outright bans in some parts of the country, and oppressive limitations set forth in others. 

Which is why Zurawski and Joshua were galvanized into action – to show voters, and everyone, the real-life impacts of lack of abortion access. “Something that sounds as simple as dealing with a miscarriage can’t even be met with a true diagnosis anymore,” Joshua noted to the AP. “It’s kind of wild, right? And it’s really frightening.”