On Monday, June 27, we held a special event to talk about how to help support abortion rights. We were joined by Julia Kaye of the ACLU and Rija Nazir of the pro-abortion Vote Neigh campaign in Kansas. Read on for ways to help, what to do now, resources, and more.
We can’t say it any better than Robin Marty:
With almost half a century of abortion rights dissolving into thin air, it is understandable to want to make a grand gesture in response. But instead, I would recommend taking a breath, assessing your resources and tapping into the work that is already being done in your community. If all of us do the same in our communities across the country, we have a chance to stave off at least some of the worst outcomes of a post-Roe America. That is the work now. Let’s get to it.– Robin Marty, “Mad About Roe? Here’s What to Do Now.”
Read more from Robin Marty in her book, The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America.
Ways to Help
Support an Organization
You can be most effective by supporting an organization already doing this work. We have some tips to help you have the most impact working with a local or national organization.
Read our new resource here.
Places that need support
Below are places identified by our speakers that could use support. This list is in no way complete, as people need support across the country.
On August 2, Kansans will vote yay or nay on an anti-abortion amendment to their state constitution:
“HCR5003 is a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to remove the right to an abortion. This means the Kansas Government could ban abortions in all cases, including when the life of the parent is at risk.”
Learn more at www.ksvoteneigh.com and @ksvoteneigh on socials. If you want to help out, reach out through their socials or email Rija at info at ksvoteneigh.com.
Michiganders are working to get the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment on the November 8, 2022, ballot:
A 1931 Michigan law could go back into effect, making abortion illegal and threatening doctors who provide abortion services with prison for up to 15 years. This amendment would make sure no one goes to prison for providing safe medical care as well as ensure access to a broad range of reproductive health care, including abortion.
Learn more at mireproductivefreedom.org.
Things you can do anywhere
Ideas from Julia Kaye and fellow ACLU colleague Danielle Silber — again not a complete list of what you can do!
- Work locally. Contact your local representatives, write letters in your local papers, make sure abortion is protected at the local level. (Check out this article with more ideas for how to work locally.)
- Pressure your employers. Start a sign-on letter for your employer to take a public stance. Get your employer to cover abortion-related travel expenses.
- Hold corporations accountable. If a corporation claims to oppose the recent decision, then they shouldn’t be giving campaign contributions to politicians fighting to take away abortion rights. Check out Popular Information and Ultraviolet for more.
- Call your doctors, if you live in a Blue state, and ask if they provide medication abortion. If they don’t, tell them you want them to. People are coming and they’re going to need them.
- Destigmatize abortion. Everywhere.
What to do now
There are many contributing factors that got us to this point. The Center for Artistic Activism and its Unstoppable Voters program have been working on several democracy-specific factors for the last couple years: protecting the freedom to vote, getting fair districts drawn, giving DC Statehood, and reforming the courts.
The attacks on all of these factors — concerted efforts to make it harder to vote, politicians drawing districts that entrench themselves in power and give no regard to us voters, the disenfranchisement of DC’s 700,000 residents who are mostly Black and Brown, and the extreme overreach of our judicial system — has combined to prevent us from being able to elect representatives who truly reflect our values — including the widely-held belief that people who get pregnant should be able to decide what happens to their own bodies. So: working on any of these issues is also working to protect abortion.
With that in mind, we have two upcoming programs with open applications to help this work:
Apply for Unstoppable Voters Take on the Midterms
Have an idea for how to turn people out for the midterms to make sure our basic freedoms, including bodily autonomy, are protected? Working to support voters during this crucial election cycle — which has gotten only more important? We’re offering funding, training, mentorship, and more to creative people and projects that are working to protect and support voters this year.
Apply to join our special Learning Lab
We’re holding a special Art of Activism: Learning Lab for people working on reproductive freedom. This free, six-week course will run on Mondays from 12-2pm, July 11-August 15. Learn more and apply to join today.
Slides from Meeting
See our slides from the event here.
Links shared during the meeting
- ACLU and its Reproductive Freedom Project: www.aclu.org/issues/reproductive-freedom
- Kansas Vote Neigh: www.ksvoteneigh.com
- Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All: mireproductivefreedom.org
- Research Collaborative: researchcollaborative.org/our-team.html and its Messaging Briefings: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_e5qtZ_WMQumSp6fRVj5-hg
- Wisdom from Robin Marty: www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/opinion/abortion-roe-activism-how-to-help.html & www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/666905/new-handbook-for-a-post-roe-america-by-robin-marty/9781644210581/
- More information on SMARTIE goals and objectives: www.managementcenter.org/resources/smartie-goals-worksheet & publications.ici.umn.edu/dhs/hcbs/modules/creating-an-action-plan/writing-smartie-goals
- DC Statehood Organizations: www.dcvote.org, www.51for51.org, www.the51st.org, www.statehood4dc.org, www.lwvdc.org
- Additional links shared by participants: dontbanequality.com, scotus.cpdaction.org