What NOW | Supporting Reproductive Rights From A Liberal Haven
Supporting Reproductive Rights From A Liberal Haven | Samantha Qualls
Living in a liberal state like New York can come with a certain level of privilege. While I still need to fight for reproductive rights, encouraging my state legislators to pass legislation that protects reproductive care and helping to escort women past the protesters that plague our clinics, I have a sense of security. I feel fairly confident that if Roe vs. Wade was overturned and the right to access a safe and legal abortion went back to the states, I would still be able to protect my freedom of choice in New York.
As a New York transplant, I frequently think about my home state of Texas and others where a woman’s right to choose is less protected. Texas was at the center of a historic Supreme Court ruling (Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt) that helped better define “undue burden,” originally coined in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. Despite this ruling that determined requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearly hospital was unconstitutional and reopened multiple clinics in Texas, millions of women across the country still face limited access to abortion. Seven states — Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming — only have one abortion clinic, and Kentucky is fighting hard to be the first state with zero abortion clinics. More conservative states continue to push through often unconstitutional legislation, limiting access to abortion.
As a New Yorker, my right to choose is not as proactively at risk, but I can’t help but think about women who are not in my position. Women who have to travel hundreds of miles in order to access the closest clinic. Women who have to pay for hotel rooms because of a 48-hour waiting period. Women who have to undergo unnecessary medical procedures like an ultrasound or must sit through lies from their doctor in order to access needed medical care.
While Planned Parenthood is an organization that’s near and dear to my heart, there are many other private clinics and charities that you can support from afar. How can you help provide abortion access for women in states under attack? Below you can find a list of some regional organizations and as a plus, many also have amazing t-shirts, so you can jazz up your pro-choice wardrobe!
National Network of Abortion Funds: The name says it all.
West Fund: Out of El Paso, Texas, The West Fund fights against restrictive legislation and helps fund abortions for women who can’t afford it. They also have amazing swag. You can rock an “Abortion Without Borders” tank at the gym or put a “This Sticker Paid for an Abortion” on your notebook and know you’re helping to support other women.
Susan Wicklund Fund: Provides women in Montana, a state with just two clinics, the resources to both pay for and travel to the procedure. You can also read a book by the charity’s namesake about her experience as an abortion provider.
Sister Reach: An education based organization that provides comprehensive reproductive and sexual education for women in Tenessee.
New Orleans Abortion Fund: An advocacy organization that supports women across the state. If you happen to be in the Big Easy, they also run a clinic escort program.
Abortion Fund of Arizona: In addition to providing funds, this organization also mans a hotline to address patient questions about the procedure. And you can get your Hester Prynne on with this Scarlet A t-shirt.
Win Fund: Supports women in North Dakota and funds the entire cost for women terminating a pregnancy that resulted from rape.
This is just a sampling of the many charities that are helping to fight for women. As New York is made of so many non-native citizens, I encourage you to look up organizations in your home state and, for the price of a few cups of coffee, help support the personal and economic freedom of women across the country.
Samantha Qualls is a PR professional living in NYC.