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Abortion Access Month: Improving Access in 5 Easy Steps

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September 11, 2013

September is an important month for reproductive justice activism. Besides the fact that it’s my birth month, it also happens to be Abortion Access Month. This September also marks the 38th year of the dreadful piece of legislation called the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment makes it extremely hard for low income people to access abortion care. Roe is law of the land but you wouldn’t know it with all of the 1,100  abortion and reproductive health restrictions laws introduced all over the country in 2011 alone. 2011 was “The Year of Abortion Restrictions” but 2013 may end up with even more anti-choice laws on the books.

A recent Toledo closing of an abortion clinic is among the latest casualties I am seeing here in Ohio as a result the budget bill that was signed by our governor this summer. Shit is bad, but Reproductive Justice activists have been working since the passing of Roe v. Wade on making sure that all people, regardless of income, ability, race, sexual orientation have access to their right to abortion.

Here are five things you can do this month to help:

1. Education: First and foremost, you must educate yourself. It is important to stay up to date on policy measures concerning abortion rights and restrictions, especially policy in your state. Getting accurate, non-judgmental information on reproductive justice is important to combat people who seek to spread misinformation. Just knowing what exactly goes on at crisis pregnancy centers goes a long way. A few places to start: http://www.fundabortionnow.org/, http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/, http://allaboveall.org/.

2. Volunteer: Now that you are armed with information, you can volunteer with organizations that work to support and expand reproductive justice.

3. Spread the word on Social Media: September is Abortion Access Month. The National Network of Abortion Fund encourages people to support Abortion Access Month this September by tweeting with the hashtag #ACCESS13. If facebook/tumblr/blogging is more your thing, you can link to their events this month on your page.

3. Donate: The National Network of Abortion Fund helps people who are unable to access abortion care because of financial barriers. Thanks to the Hyde Amendment, federal funds cannot be used to pay for abortion care, with a few exceptions. Low income people who rely on Medicaid for their health care cannot use their Medicaid insurance to cover abortion services, that’s where abortion funds come into play. However, not only people on Medicaid access abortion funds. Various people all over the United States(minors, people in abusive relationships, undocumented immigrants etc) can and do access abortion funds. The fund would not be available without donations from individuals.

4. Sign the petition to repeal Hyde: Did you know that Hyde is mostly still law when it comes to abortion and federal money even under The Affordable Care Act? It is my humble opinion that the Hyde Amendment is a terrible terrible law. Like epically bad, infact, go sign the petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment right now! Signing the petition is one step in opening up abortion access to all people.

5. Advocate!: Did you do the above four things and are still looking for ways to get involved? Well, don’t fret, there’s plenty more to do. Get involved with your state’s/town’s abortion fund here. Your town doesn’t have a fund?, here’s  resource on how to start a fund in your area.

More ways to get involved!

Petitions: Sign these petitions to support comprehensive sex ed, access to Plan B, abortion coverage and putting a stop to the 20 week abortion ban.

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4 Responses to “Abortion Access Month: Improving Access in 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Marissa D.

    I myself do not agree with most of this article. Unlike the majority of those who hold my position on abortion, I just want to encourage you to seek information from both sides of abortion opinions. Since there seems to be impartial information out there, I really would recommend looking at the other point of view.

    After all, knowing more about the “opponent’s” side(s) in any case will leave them more vulnerable because of your lack of ignorance. I hope this is helpful information for all of you.

    Again, I am not forcing my opinion; I simply wish for everyone as far as any topic goes, to look at things subjectively before they form their objective view.

  2. diana

    Thanks Marissa for your comment. I do agree that it is helpful to know about the opposition. However, when it comes to reproductive health, there are no two sides that are equally worthy. You either support a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions or you don’t. Simple as that. The opposition tends to operate from religious ideology that are misogynistic and seek to subjugate women, it is not objective at all. What would be objective is leaving decisions like abortion to women to decide.

  3. Sara

    There’s a step missing – you can also help woman outside the USA. There are many organisations who help woman without access to safe or legal abortion to gain access to safe abortion in countries across the world. These organisations are in chronic need of funding and support.