“This is no longer a country for women…no longer,” read the text.
Chaya, an Indian immigrant, was Timmaraju’s “first feminist role model,” she says. Timmaraju was still in the meeting when she received the message, but she couldn’t help but shed a few tears.
Timmaraju said she remembered how amazed her mother was by American democracy when they first moved to Texas in 1979 – Chaya looked in awe at the state’s first black female senator, Barbara Jordan , holding the White House accountable during the Watergate hearings. And her mother was never prouder than when she worked on Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008, Timmaraju said.
“So for her to feel like this country isn’t for her anymore…it’s a colossal failure of this country,” she said.
Your questions about Roe’s ending answered
Timmaraju is far from the only woman to call or text her mother following the news. Some women participated in the activism that led to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 1973 to see the fundamental right to abortion revoked while their daughters were alive. Others have dedicated their lives to abortion advocacy and fought alongside their daughters to see deer reversed. Throughout the weekend, women across the country texted their mothers – some angry, some elated, all emotional.
Christine Yeargin, host of anti-abortion organization Students for Life’s “Speak Out” podcast, said she and her mother celebrated the news. Yeargin was the product of an unplanned pregnancy, she said, and went on to carry her own unplanned pregnancy to term when she was 20.
“My mom chose life for me, and I’m so grateful to be here today,” she said.
Yeargin said she was in tears when the decision was made – and immediately called her mother to celebrate.
“I was watering my garden and I just stopped,” she said. “I think my neighbors probably think I’m crazy, because the garden hose started going all over the place. But I was overwhelmed with joy. »
Later that day, Yeargin and her mother spoke about the decision at Yeargin’s daughter’s birthday party.
“She was as emotional as I was and knows how much work I put into it,” Yeargin said. “We were both delighted together, ecstatic.”
For these young Americans, abortion is personal – and complicated
Heather, 46, who spoke on the condition that only her first name be used for privacy reasons, immediately sent the news to her two mums in a group text.
“A madman installed three judges. And so many people let it happen,” she wrote to her two mums, Terry, 67, and Barbara, 75.
“I feel like we’re fighting Medusa. So many snakes,” Terry replied.
Heather, a teacher in Alabama, said she remembered how important abortion rights were to both her parents when she was growing up in Arizona.
“I just knew abortions were something that was an option for us in our family,” she said.
But her mothers’ concerns about women’s and gay rights began to mount after President Donald Trump took office in 2016, Heather said. Terry and Barbara didn’t legally marry until 2013. When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020 and Amy Coney Barrett replaced her as conservative judge, Terry and Barbara feared their right marriage is canceled at any time. Now that threat is increasingly looming, Heather said, after Judge Clarence Thomas suggested reconsidering Oberfell v. Hodgeswho legalized same-sex marriage, according to his concurring opinion.
“It was like all the things that we were afraid of actually happened, and I think that’s why the anger was there,” she said. “I’m so angry that people said it would never happen. I still can’t believe it.
Some women who personally oppose abortion were still upset by the decision. Tabitha Brock, a 41-year-old high school teacher in Arkansas who identifies as conservative, broached the subject with sensitivity when she texted her daughter, Addington Stroud, 20, on Friday.
Brock said she believes every child should have a chance at birth, except in extreme circumstances. She became pregnant with Stroud after she was sexually assaulted in college, which she says plays a big role in her stance against abortion.
Stroud said she was happy her mother made the decision to have her with her twin brother, but she is still a strong supporter of abortion rights. “A woman doesn’t make a decision like this on a whim, and she certainly doesn’t make it in advance,” Stroud said. “Women don’t want to have an abortion, we don’t plan to have an abortion, but sometimes it’s just the only option we feel we can take.”
Despite his anti-abortion beliefs, Brock still worries about the precedent that has overturned Roe vs. Wade for the future of her two daughters: “I feel like soon they will be told when and how they can get contraception, who and how they can show their love,” she said.
And although she and her daughter differ politically, Brock said she made sure to text him when the decision was made.
“You know my position on abortions, but the profound implications of this reversal of roe v wade are inconceivable! I will always be your greatest ally and fighter,” she wrote. “Never think I won’t be. I love you!”
Kirstin, a reporter who spoke out on the condition that only her first name be used to protect her work, received a text from her 19-year-old daughter as she covered the story in Real Time.
“Mom, I’m sobbing,” her daughter wrote.
Kirstin couldn’t be a mother at the time, she said, because she was busy covering the story. She was a reporter on historic events like 9/11 and Trump’s election. But nothing, she says, has touched her as personally as Friday’s decision.
When Kirstin finally left work, she had the chance to talk to her daughter, who is a pre-med student. Her daughter told her she was overly optimistic when she said the decision would spark change. But Kirstin held on, she said, and offered advice to her daughter’s generation: “Get up, get up. To be involved.”
“How are you going to serve? Kirstin said she asked her daughter. “Are you going to get involved in political campaigns? Will you be an activist? Will you find a way to help put medical abortion in the hands of women who need it on other college campuses? What will you do? That’s your question now – what are you going to do? »
Anna Tingley is a staff writer for Variety Magazine.