5 Ways to Support Abortion Rights

A woman’s right to safe abortions is becoming increasingly limited in the United States. Since 2010, states have passed over 400 restrictions on abortion care. Six states have passed bills banning abortions this year alone. Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Alabama have also passed laws severely restricting access to abortions. The United States’ anti-abortion policies are all part of a nationwide assault aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade.

 

Specifically, Alabama’s recent legislation is one of the most strict abortion laws in the country. Under the new law, women would be forced to carry unwanted or non-viable pregnancies to term in nearly all circumstances including incest and rape. Additionally, doctors who perform the procedure could face up to 99 years in prison, which is a longer sentence than what most rapists face. The state’s incest and rape exception have since been removed, but lawmakers still argue to preserve the exceptions while restricting abortions for the vast majority of Alabama women.

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The recent abortion restrictions aggressively contribute to the legal fight against women’s access to abortions. Due to the efforts, it is more difficult for a woman to attain an abortion than it was a decade ago. Additionally, anti-abortion advocates want to bring a case to the Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v Wade and allow states to ban abortion completely.

While the United State’s anti-abortion laws restrict women’s constitutional right to abortion, the people are not voiceless. There are numerous ways to get involved in supporting women’s rights including donating, volunteering, and simply sparking a conversation.

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1. Support ACLU’s lawsuits to overturn state abortion bans.

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The ACLU is currently fighting abortion bans and restrictions in 14 states. You can support the ACLU fight for reproductive rights at action.aclu.org with any amount you can offer

 

2. Sign up for a protest near you to make it clear: We won’t take this quietly.

Check when an ACLU sponsored protest is happening near you at map.peoplepower.org for event details and RSVP.

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3. Donate to local abortion funds for patients in need.

The National Network of Abortion Funds is a network of local grassroots organizations that make a woman’s legal right to abortion actually attainable. Abortion funds go to those in need seeking abortions including funding, transportation, translation services, and emotional support. You can donate at secure.actblue.com where your contribution will be divided evenly between The Blue Ridge Abortion Fund, Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, and 62 other groups.

 

4. Help elect progressive, pro-choice candidates.

Abortion access is determined by the state’s laws, so it is crucial to elect lawmakers that will work towards repealing existing prohibitions on abortion to make it more accessible to all women. Go to www.prochoiceamerica.org to learn more about where your state stands on abortion rights, and find the right candidates to support.

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5. Volunteer to be a clinic escort.

A clinic escort is someone who walks women into a clinic, helping shield them from anti-abortion protesters who often shout at and harass patients. Clinics all over the country need help. Contact your local clinic directly to ask about how you can help or sign up to be a Planned Parenthood volunteer at www.plannedparenthood.org/get-involved.

 

Finally, continue to talk about this issue — with friends, family, and other members of the community. While these are just a few ways to get involved, don’t let abortion rights fade from consciousness. Activists’ efforts will ensure that these extreme laws will not become America’s new normal.

Photo Courtesy of the ACLU: (@aclu Instagram)