What You Can And Should Do If You Oppose Alabama's Abortion Ban

What You Can And Should Do If You Oppose Alabama's Abortion Ban

We've all seen the tweets, posts, and Instagram stories about the abortion ban, but here are three things that we can actually do about it.

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"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?

Donate

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.

Volunteer

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?

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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I Want To Be Embraced, But Touch Triggers Me

A poem about touch.

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I want to be embraced, but touch triggers me,

Because with touch comes vulnerability.

Touch has the power to lift you yet can destroy you if it's unwanted.

We touch to feel, but the longingness to feel something—a body that isn't yours--takes the good feeling away.

It breaks you.

Over and over again you try to train your mind to tell itself that every touch is not bad; every touch won't leave you crying on the bathroom floor asking why this happened to you.

Every touch won't deprive you of your appetite.

Every touch won't leave you numb like you are when you're reminded of the person who took it all away from you.

Every touch is not meant to harm you the way their touch did.

Every touch isn't meant to break you.


I want to be embraced, because it can make me feel safe

It tells me that I am understood—

Not a body for someone to conquer, but one to nurture.

To be embraced is to be loved—by someone, by something.

But when being embraced turns so quickly into being touched, the safety net disappears.


I want to find refuge in your touch, but touch triggers me.

Because with touch came the conquering of my body

With touch, I was left to pick up the pieces of myself, alone.

With touch, I lost sight of my own.


I want to be embraced, but touch triggers me.

Because I'm reminded of the unwanted ones.

I want to be embraced and touched by you, but it's hard to differentiate between the two

The good from bad- the nurturing from the conquering.

They say boys will be boys, but the parents who taught their boys to be boys, turned into men who left unhealed wounds

Touch triggers me, but I don't want it to.

I want to be loved by you.

My mind says to let go and let you.

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