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Following Roe v. Wade, those who assist others in obtaining abortions perceive themselves as part of ‘the underground’

People assemble kits (Kane Allen/Shutterstock)

Waiting in a lengthy line at the post office with a shipment of “abortion aftercare kits,” Kimra Luna received a text message. The sender, who had taken abortion pills three weeks earlier, was concerned about bleeding and hesitant to disclose the reason to a doctor.

“Bleeding doesn’t necessarily mean you need to seek medical attention,” Luna reassured her over the encrypted messaging app Signal. “Some people experience on-and-off bleeding for up to a month.”

For Luna, a doula and advocate for reproductive care in a state with stringent abortion laws, this was a typical busy afternoon. Despite the challenging legal environment, the 38-year-old finds strength in a national network of helpers. This network includes clinic guides, leaders of abortion funds, and volunteers who provide crucial support to individuals in states with restrictive abortion laws.

Kima Luna packs abortion aftercare kits (Via Kelly Johnson/Shutterstock)

“We consider ourselves part of an underground movement,” said Jerad Martindale, an activist based in Boise.

Advocates for abortion rights are concerned that Idaho’s laws may set a precedent for other states. In Idaho, abortions are banned with very few exceptions throughout pregnancy. Additionally, a law that has been temporarily blocked prevents adults from aiding minors in leaving the state for abortions without parental consent. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed arguments regarding Idaho’s enforcement of its abortion ban during medical emergencies.

Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, believes that laws like Idaho’s protect the rights of the unborn. While she acknowledges that preventing people from assisting others in obtaining abortions may be difficult, she expressed a hope that such actions would not occur.

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