As many of you know, we here at Secular Shethinkers support and fight for the rights of women – including the right to end a pregnancy.
Of course, abortion is – technically – legal and has been – technically – enshrined as a basic human right by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately anti-choice activists and politicians have been chipping away abortion access for years. They’re doing everything they can to make the process of obtaining an abortion as complicated, onerous and expensive as possible – not just for the women who need it, but also for the clinics and centers who offer this needed service.
So I ask: what good is a right, if you cannot access it?
What good is the right to vote, if you’re unable to access the voting location or booth?
What good is a right to an attorney, if you’re not given access to an attorney?
What good is the right to an abortion, if you’re barred from accessing the service?
Politicians in Texas and many other states have been working hard since 2010 to pass harsh abortion restrictions. These include but are not limited to: forced ultrasounds, waiting periods, a requirement of at least two doctor visits, bans after 20 weeks, fetal heart beat bills, new restrictions on clinics (when they know it will be too expensive/difficult to meet the restrictions*), and many many more.
RH Reality Check is currently tracking the number of clinics closing in Texas due to the recent restrictions passed during the last legislative session. Check out their map here.
Now superimpose that map of Texas over a map of Europe, and you might see why this is such a big deal. Oh look, Feministing already did that!
Back to my question: What good is a right, if you’re barred access to exercising that right? I say it’s worthless. And we should do something about this.
The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity provides financial assistance, as well as counseling, to people seeking abortions. They also provide community outreach and education on reproductive rights issues. You can donate your money, your time on the phone counseling service, and even your couch to women who need help today. Women need help paying for the procedure, as well as money/assistance with traveling costs and overnight stays.
Going to rallies may be fun and useful in their own way, but we need practical help on the ground now.