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How to Help Women in States Banning Abortion


After Alabama effectively banned nearly all abortion this week, women’s health organizations across the country have seen spikes in donations. Even New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in an email to supporters, denounced the law and encouraged people to contribute to Planned Parenthood.

By all means, donate to Planned Parenthood. It’s a reputable organization that delivers affordable health care to women and men across the country, providing cancer screenings, STD testing, and a host of other services. But abortion specifically makes up a very small segment of the services they offer. In fact, most abortions in the U.S. are performed by local clinics, and targeted donations and volunteering can have an outsized impact.

The fate of Roe v. Wade may very well be in jeopardy, but for now abortion is a legal medical procedure that women are constitutionally guaranteed. For now, these are some of the best ways to help women in states that are dedicated to denying them health care to score points in a political agenda.

Donate directly to the states affected. As more states are passing laws that effectively ban abortion, women’s health organizations in those states are more in need of support than ever. Check out The Yellowhammer Fund in Alabama, SisterSong in Georgia, Jackson Women’s Health Organization in Mississippi, Missouri Reproductive Freedom Fund, and Preterm in Ohio.

Support the National Network of Abortion Funds. The NNAF provides funding to women who can’t afford abortions. In fact, they help with transportation services in states where clinics are isolated and geographically spread out, and in places with a mandatory 48-hour waiting period they even help pay for lodging.

Volunteer as an escort at local clinics. Anti-abortion activists often try to intimidate women by grouping as close to clinic entrances as they’re legally allowed to do. Often this involves picketing and yelling, but there are many instances of this leading to violence. The week before Alabama passed its ban, an anti-abortion protester drove a car into women entering a clinic in what police are investigating as a hit and run. Escorts are a vital way to help women feel secure and to act as a buffer between them and more aggressive picketers. Local Planned Parenthoods can help get you set up, or you can contact the abortion provider nearest you.

Share your own story. Statistically, one in every three American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. It’s easier for anti-abortion activists to claim they have public support as long as the procedure is considered uncommon, unnecessary, and shameful. Organizations like Shout Your Abortion and the 1 in 3 Campaign are dedicated to fighting that stigma by giving women and men platforms to talk about how abortion has directly affected their lives.



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