Abortion has been under attack for decades in this country. Abortion clinics, which provide basic women’s healthcare, are on the frontlines of the battle. As legal restrictions grow more stringent and clinic protesters grow more violent, you may be wondering what you can do to support your local abortion clinic. Here are 5 ways to support your local abortion clinic, even if you don’t have any specialized training or medical experience.
Learn About Issues in Your State
Each state faces its own unique abortion legislative landscape. In Georgia, it’s a six-week abortion ban. In Texas, it’s attempts to execute people who seek abortions. Local politics matter, and have the most immediate impact on women’s lives. Learn about what’s happening in your state by signing up for your local abortion clinic’s mailing list. Then show up when they need you. Many clinics offer legislative trainings, or schedule specific days during which pro-choice supporters should call their representatives. Follow the lead of clinics already doing the work, and you’ll become part of a strong chorus of pro-choice voices.
Abortion clinics need money to continue their work. Consider donating money directly to a clinic, or to the National Network of Abortion Funds to help fund an abortion for someone who can’t afford it. Know also that the most powerful donation might be one you can’t deduct from your taxes. If you know someone who needs an abortion, consider paying for it.
Become a Clinic Escort
Seeking an abortion can be terrifying, even if a person is confident in their decision. Clinic protesters turn a routine health procedure into a war of life and death, terrorizing women and sometimes even stalking them. Clinic escorts guide people through the process, provide reassurance when walking through protesters, and offer patients the profound reassurance that they are not alone.
Go With Someone to Their Abortion
Sometimes the best way to support your local abortion clinic is in an understated way. Getting an abortion can be scary, thanks to aggressive protesters, hostile scare tactics, and the uncertain emotional realities of pregnancy. Try going with a friend or loved one to their abortion and offering unconditional, unwavering support. Or show up after the procedure to offer comfort and a listening ear.
Know That It’s Never Been Just About Abortion
Abortion is just a small portion of the reproductive justice pie. To put abortion in proper context, people must understand what’s at stake. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the wealthy world, and it’s getting worse. Many women cannot afford prenatal care, and even when they can, the quality of prenatal care in the United States ranges from bad to inconsistent. Educating yourself about these issues can make you a more effective and intersectional advocate. Read Abortion Clinics Online’s Daily Kos column on reproductive justice here.