"So if I perform an abortion for a woman who was raped in Alabama, I would go to jail for many more years than the rapist himself? Cool, cool, cool." — @JohnJiao
"Make no mistake - a state that criminalizes abortion but ranks 50th in public education doesn't give a shit about children." — @wittelstephanie
"Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate in the country. Somehow I don't think this was about care of children." — @Amy_Siskind
Above are just some of the reactions Twitter users had after the Republican-controlled Alabama state legislature saw the passage of a total abortion ban at the hands of 25 male politicians and Governor Kay Ivey. This law makes Alabama the state with the strictest abortion policy in the U.S., as it only leaves an exception for when the mother's life is at risk. But in the bigger, perhaps more frightening, picture, this law also further brings into question the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. Seeing as this law is directly challenging the Supreme Court's ruling that it is unlawful to place "undue burden" on a woman seeking an abortion, the opportunity to overturn the court's decision will come if they decide to hear the case against the state of Alabama.
In lieu of this, there has been an overwhelming amount of outcry and discussion via social media and it doesn't seem to be dying down, but the next step is to turn these feelings of anger, disappointment, and fear into action.
So, what exactly can you do?
We hear it all the time, "every dollar counts." Donations can make all the difference, but the struggle is finding the right places to donate your money to. Below I have listed several organizations which are providing meaningful help, and are dedicated to the fight for abortion rights.
The Yellowhammer Fund of Alabama helps provide access to abortions for people at one of the three abortion clinics in Alabama. This organization even helps pregnant women get to another state for a procedure as soon as possible, because although the abortion ban hasn't gone into effect yet abortion access is still something many women in Alabama don't have.
The American Civil Liberties Union is a longstanding, national organization which fights for the rights of the public. They have repeatedly vowed to do all they can, legally, to reverse this ban. By donating to the ACLU your money would be contributing to the larger legal battle over abortion rights.
Planned Parenthood only has two branches in Alabama and they're going to need all the donations they can get for these two clinics to provide for a whole state. For Planned Parenthood, as well as all the other organizations listed, you can donate by simply clicking on the hyperlink attached to its name.
I decided to include the next place you may want to donate to because data shows that in Alabama black women will be most impacted by the state's abortion ban. Not only will they be unable to get abortions, but they will then face an increased risk of criminalization if they do find a way to get an abortion, so donating to organizations like Sister Song ensures your donations are fully inclusive of all the victims of this law.
On a similar note of inclusivity, the LGBTQ+ community is and will be continuing to struggling with abortion access as another facet to the issue. Organizations like Southern Equality and the Alabama-based TKO Society, are grassroots movement founded and led by black, transgender, gay, lesbian, and gender non-conforming people, which are sharing Governor Ivey's phone number and asking for Alabamians to urge her to veto the law and helping provide abortion access to the LGBTQ+ community.
Find your local abortion fund by visiting the National Network of Abortion Funds. This site will not only show you where your local abortion fund is and where the nearest place to get an abortion is, but how to support them in other ways. Not everyone can afford to donate their money, but we can all donate some time. It is important to remember that, considering the push to overturn Roe v. Wade, it is essential we support abortion funds and clinics in more liberal states as well.
VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE WHICH REFLECTS YOUR BELIEFS, AND YOUR OPPOSITION TO THIS BAN IN THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
As you can see by the all-caps, I can't stress this enough.
You can also help groom better progressive candidates by donating to organizations like Justice Democrats. Justice Democrats "is working to elect a mission-driven caucus in Congress that will fight for solutions that match the scale of our many crises: skyrocketing inequality, catastrophic climate change, deepening structural racism… and the corporate takeover of our democracy." While donating to interest groups, non-profits, and other non-governmental groups (as listed in the first section) will help the individual people who are struggling right now, it is equally important for there to be legislative solutions. Without creating political change through voting and supporting the right candidates, the work of these non-governmental groups will never be done.
I hope you found this article helpful and that, together, we can ensure bodily autonomy for ALL women. In the meantime, stay mad. Accepting that "this is the law now," or telling yourself "it doesn't affect me because I don't live in Alabama," or saying "my state is too liberal for this to ever happen here" is the attitude that will be our ruin. We can't simply sit back and allow the male-dominated Republican party to continue pushing for the Supreme Court to overturn of Roe v. Wade. Lastly, it might be smart to stock up on Plan B just in case?