Start Where You Are: A guide for Philly folks who want do more to support reproductive freedom

In recent weeks my social media feeds and in-person conversations have been dominated by folks horrified by the recent attacks on abortion access who feel powerless to do anything. I found myself thinking, “If only I’d already started my new gig, I would know what to say, what to do.”

But would I? I don’t really know. What I do know is that the patriarchy is counting on us feeling powerless,; but we’re not. In that vein, I asked around and put together a few ideas for how folks can support those on the front lines nationally, join with those doing the work locally, and generally get more involved. Further suggestions welcome.

VOLUNTEER: As the anti-choice community becomes emboldened, we can expect more and more virulent protests outside our local Planned Parenthood. You can support people coming to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA for services by volunteering as a clinic escort.

JOIN: The Philadelphia Reproductive Freedom Collective is housed within the Women’s Medical Fund and is doing organizing work around reproductive justice. Check them out on Facebook to get involved.

New Voices engages Black women, femmes and girls in local, national and global movement-building for human rights, racial and gender justice, using reproductive justice as a framework; you can also find them on Facebook.

EDUCATE YOURSELF: For up-to-date news on national abortion access issues, subscribe to ReWire News. If you’re a data nerd or interested in deeper policy analysis, check out Guttmacher Institute. For news on abortion access issues in PA (and to get statewide action alerts), join the mailing list of the Women’s Law Project — they’re the leading experts on local legal and policy issues related to abortion. Want a longer read? Check out Robin Marty’s Handbook for a Post-Roe America or Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.

TALK: You may have heard about Busy Philipps sharing her abortion story and the hashtag #YouKnowMe. If you want to share your abortion story publicly, you can do so at We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds (or in person, or on your social media). Before you share, you might want to check out these helpful tips. Or maybe you don’t want to or don’t have a story to share, but still want to talk to people in your life about why abortion access matters to you. ReWire has an article on How to Talk to Your Family About Abortion that you might find useful.

DONATE: Support abortion access funds in states facing abortion bans so that they can help low-income folks access the care they need. Abortion access funds help low-income people pay for abortions — including travel to other cities/states if necessary. There’s a state-by-state list below. You can also consider donating to the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), which supports funds across the US.

Closer to home, you can also support the Women’s Medical Fund, our local abortion access provider or Philadelphia Women’s Center— one of our leading local independent abortion clinics.

Additionally, my friend Toby is part of a cohort of folks currently raising funds to support local community organizing efforts related to gender justice through Gender Justice Giving Project at Bread and Roses Community Fund. If you’d like to support this work, click here. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact me and I can hook you up.

SHOP: I’m not kidding. Maybe retail therapy is your thing. Or maybe you really want a gold holographic fanny pack that says “Fund Abortion. Build Power.” In either case, you can support abortion access AND get some swag that aligns with you beliefs from the NNAF store, the NARAL store, or the Planned Parenthood store.