Lately, the news has been inundated by the anti-abortion laws that are being passed in several states across the United States. Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio all passed “heartbeat bills” that make abortions after six to eight weeks a crime. Utah and Arkansas both voted to limit abortions to the middle of the second trimester. The worst of them, perhaps, is Alabama’s intensely restrictive bill. The bill, which has been signed by Governor Kay Ivey, criminalizes abortions at every stage of pregnancy and does not make exceptions in cases of rape and incest. Despite this, abortion is still legal in all 50 states. Georgia’s law won’t be implemented until January of 2020, and Alabama’s in November.
‘The state of Alabama ought to be ashamed of herself.’ — These Alabama state senators spoke up against the abortion ban pic.twitter.com/tRPJAXZDvt
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 16, 2019
Still, it’s a scary thought that women in these states won’t be able to choose what they want to do when they unexpectedly find out they’re pregnant. Watching women lose their rights at the hands of hypocrites who call themselves “pro-life” across the country is terrifying, especially when you feel like you can’t do anything to help. But, there are things that we can do to fight the legislation that is being passed and keep abortion, and a woman’s right to choose, legal across the United States.
- Call your representatives. Especially if you live in a state that is considering or is in the process of passing anti-abortion laws. Tell them why passing these laws is unsafe for the people living in your state. Call your governor, your state representatives, and your federal representatives. Make your voice heard.
- Donate to organizations that fight for reproductive justice and the right to choose. Here are some you can donate to:
- National Network of Abortion Funds. This organization works to help people who have abortions be able to afford and access them without added stress.
- Yellowhammer Fund. This organization provides funding for people in Alabama seeking abortions at one of the state’s three clinics. As well, it helps break down other barriers, such as travel and lodging, for those seeking an abortion.
- Women Have Options in Ohio. This is Ohio’s statewide abortion fund and provides financial and logistical support to those in need of abortions across Ohio. They also fund clinics throughout the state.
- Consider volunteering at a clinic. If you live in a state that has a restrictive abortion ban or an area where abortions are taboo, volunteer as a clinic escort. Show you care and want to protect those seeking abortions from anti-abortion protestors trying to shame them from getting the procedure. Find out more about how to become an escort here.
- If you can’t become a clinic escort, donate to a local clinic or Planned Parenthood. Federal Medicaid funding does not cover abortions due to the Hyde Amendment, which was implemented in 1976 to cease Medicaid funding for abortions, except in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy. Because of this, people who are low-income and seek abortions cannot afford them. Whether or not they receive an abortion relies completely on donations from the public. You can donate to Planned Parenthood here.
- Even if you can’t donate or volunteer, you can still speak out against anti-abortion laws. Educate those around you on why abortion should remain safe and legal. Help them understand just how devastating these laws are for reproductive rights and the health of people across the nation.
‘I came here to fight for your rights, Hattie, rights your brother will never have threatened.’ — State @RepKeriIngle read an emotional letter to her 2-year-old daughter before Missouri voted on an abortion ban pic.twitter.com/d9ObKk4uP0
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) May 24, 2019
The war against reproductive rights might be raging in the U.S. right now, but we won’t go down without a fight. Education is the most important step in fighting this battle. If you educate those around you, donate and volunteer if you can, and make your voice heard in this fight, then we can stop the war on reproductive rights.