Three Things to Do if You’re Angry About Attacks on Abortion Access

| Reproaction

By: Caitlin Blunnie

The Supreme Court will soon release its opinion on a case concerning a 15-week ban from Mississippi, which calls into question the constitutionality of pre-viability abortion bans and is widely expected to be used by conservative justices as a tool to overturn Roe v. Wade. [1] Texas’ extreme near-total abortion ban is also still in effect, and since September has decimated abortion access in the state and surrounding region. Texas’ SB8 is especially concerning as it has a special provision that allows everyday citizens to sue anyone who help someone seeking an abortion for up to $10,000. [2]

We’re witnessing an all-out attack on our right to bodily autonomy. It’s normal to feel hopeless or scared in moments of uncertainty, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. Reproaction believes we will win through bold, nonviolent direct action, and educating others to do the same.

So, here are some ways you can take action:

1. DO: Be vocal about supporting abortion rights and access. DON’T: Assume most people don’t support abortion.

Since Roe legalized abortion in 1973, we’ve seen anti-abortion advocates work to demonize people who have abortions, providers, and those who do movement work. Despite what abortion opponents want us to believe, the vast majority of Americans support abortion legality. [3] After all, everyone loves someone who had an abortion. [4]

Talking about abortion with our loved ones not only helps bust stigma, but creates space for others to share their own reproductive experiences. You don’t need to be an expert to talk about abortion, and you also shouldn’t expect to change someone’s opinion with just one conversation. Yet understanding how someone thinks about abortion gives us an opportunity to dig deeper and address abortion stigma and misinformation. These conversations are equally important to have with progressive friends, who may be unintentionally upholding narratives about abortion that are harmful. You can even help move loved ones who are allies further left by having conversations about self-managed abortion and the reality of abortion criminalization.

Not sure where to start? Check out our How to Talk about Abortion skills training.

2. DO: Center those most impacted and plug into existing groups. DON’T: Assume you know what all people who are seeking abortion care need.

In this work, we must center those most impacted by abortion restrictions – which includes people of color, LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming folks, people struggling to make ends meet, and people living in rural areas with low health care access. Creating meaningful relationships and building trust in communities takes time. In many places, there are existing clinic escort groups, abortion funds, reproductive rights or justice groups and more that could use your support. It is better to uplift and add to existing resources than to try to make your own from scratch. Plus, it helps build community and makes the work easier. There’s strength in numbers! Now could be a good time to reach out to a group and ask how you can support their work. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a response right away, as groups are often volunteer-run and have limited capacity.

If you have a specific interest in providing direct support for those seeking abortion care, it’s important to challenge your own perspectives around abortion. Do the narratives you use to talk about abortion access treat those impacted with the respect and dignity they deserve? Pregnant people are their own moral decision makers and experts of their lives. In particular, the idea that some abortions are ‘good’ and others are ‘bad’ creates space for our opponents to single out and demonize certain types of care. Supporting this work means honestly listening to and caring for those who have abortions.

If you’re interested in opening your home to people traveling for abortion care, plug into existing practical support groups, such as the Apiary Collective, [5] which have processes for best supporting those traveling.

Not sure where to start? Listen to abortion storytellers and honor their experiences. [6] 

3. DO: Take direct action locally and often. DON’T: Submit to despair and stop fighting.

Taking bold nonviolent direct action is a powerful way to show up for abortion access and to recharge your activism battery when the news just sucks. Whether it’s attending a rally, tabling, or stickering, direct action can help build community, destigmatize abortion, challenge abortion opponents, and keep you grounded in the struggle.

When taking direct action for abortion access, it is critical that we center those most impacted. It’s important to avoid actions that could escalate or cause harm to those impacted, such as counter-protesting outside of a local clinic. As we’ve outlined in a previous blog post, an increased presence outside clinics can often create more chaos as patients have trouble distinguishing who’s anti-abortion and who’s pro-abortion. Unless clinic staff explicitly give you permission to do so, you should avoid these types of actions.

Protesting outside fake anti-abortion clinics is a great opportunity for us to engage with the community and help those seeking abortion care. Anti-abortion fake clinics exist to talk people out of having abortions, often using fear tactics and spreading stigmatizing, dangerous misinformation. Anti-abortion ake clinics outnumber real abortion clinics 3:1 nationally, and in many places, receive taxpayer funding for their deceptive practices. Most people don’t know what fake clinics are until they find themselves in one, and it’s on us to educate our communities about the resources that exist outside of these centers.

Not sure where to start? Check to see if there are anti-abortion fake clinics in your community, and then check out our Taking Bold Action Against Fake Clinics toolkit.








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