Protect Abortion Rights and Women's Autonomy
Updated: Aug 4, 2019
There is no better person to decide what’s best for a woman’s body than herself. Yet recent legislation, passed and/or proposed in various US states, suggest a disturbing upward trend in extreme legislation aiming to control women’s bodies.
There are too many reasons to name as to why these laws are abhorrent. From the overwhelming number of children in foster care across the United States to the lack of education funding to support these future children. However, one truth should ring clear to people of all parties and belief systems: these laws will not stop abortions, they will only stop legal and safe abortions. Want to do something about it? This is how you can.
Learn: What do you really know about abortion? No, your high school sex ed class doesn’t count. It's not too late to learn about it. The Guttmacher Institute has provided an overview of the current state of abortion laws at: http://bit.ly/GuttmacherInstitute. Additionally, you can learn more about the current state of the abortion debate in the United States through Washington Post's extensive coverage: http://bit.ly/WashingtonPost5-09-19.
However, at the end of the day, this aforementioned statistics and information are just that - numbers. Not firsthand accounts of the everyday people who would be most affected by these laws. Check out the social media hashtags #YouKnowMe and #ShoutYourAbortion on any social media platform to read about abortion from those who have actually had them - not the media, and not white male senators. Or better yet, talk about it. Destigmatize the conversation. Abortion is not a bad word.
ACT: The upward trend in anti-abortion laws can be partially attributed to the breakdown of the state legislature and gerrymandering of districts. Keep an eye out for public elections in your neighborhood. As November approaches, we can help ensure that we don’t elect anti-abortion politicians. Research which politicians are up for re-election, evaluate their stances, and then campaign—and vote —accordingly. In the same vein, don’t overlook your local elections. As important as it is to have national leaders who support reproductive rights, the battle over abortion access is still largely a state issue for now. The makeup of your City Council can also matter a great deal — decisions about zoning and even noise ordinances can make the difference between a clinic staying open or being forced to close indefinitely.
Got extra time? Across the country, in blue states as well,women are being harassed as they seek options for their current course of pregnancy. You can help by volunteering as a clinic escort and being a friendly face of support. To find your local clinics, visit the websites for the National Abortion Federation and Abortion Care Network, both of which have maps that will show all the abortion-providing clinics in the state.
GIVE: Organizations like the ACLU are going to be leading the fight to protect abortion rights, using the judicial system to try to overturn these laws or proposed legislation.
If you’d like to give your money to an organization on the frontline of access, the National Network of Abortion Funds makes sure that women can get safe and affordable abortions.
But there are many organizations and people that that are working day in and day out to support women’s autonomy and reproductive rights. Learn more about their amazing programs and initiatives at: NARAL Pro-Choice America, SisterSong, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, Center for Reproductive Rights.
Have an idea on how to help with this issue or a different cause? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that includes your cause and whether your suggestion involves donating (GIVE), taking action (ACT), or bringing more awareness to the cause (LEARN).