Even in 2020, close to 20 million American women still live in areas known as contraceptive deserts. Based on recent events at the state legislative level, we can expect that access to birth control is going to get worse before it gets better: last year alone, 12 states passed 25 new restrictions on abortion. And this week, the Supreme Court heard a highly anticipated case challenging a Louisiana law that puts new restrictions on doctors who perform abortions. Depending on how the Court decides, the ruling could either uphold precedent or make it close to impossible for Louisiana residents to get abortion care.
The case before the Supreme Court is not an isolated attempt to limit access to abortions. Across the country, there have been efforts unfolding to undermine women’s reproductive rights. Recently, the Trump administration reinstated Medicaid funding for Texas, but at the cost of excluding Planned Parenthood from its women’s health program; a federal appeals court upheld a policy that bans family planning clinics from referring patients for abortion; and in Kansas, legislators are considering a proposal to amend the state’s constitution on abortion. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
At Pill Club, we believe that women should have a choice when it comes to their reproductive health, and we’re actively working to expand access and control for women. Outside of our own work, we wanted to share a few ways that you or someone you know can help ensure that women continue to get the health care they need and want on their own terms.
Vote in the upcoming primaries (you can find the date for your state’s primary here) and in the November general election to ensure that our future continues to evolve with us. Help boost voter turnout by texting your friends on election day to remind them to head to the polls.
While we’ve seen increasing voter turnout among 18-29 year olds over the past 4 years, it’s still the age group with the lowest turnout rate.
We can’t stress enough how important it is that you make your voice heard at the polls. Your vote decides the elected officials who have the power to influence the laws that will impact women’s futures.
Take a Stand
March in solidarity with the women in your life. This past Wednesday, our partners at Power to Decide held a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court in D.C. and at the statehouse in New Orleans to protest the Louisiana case being considered by the Court. Sister rallies will likely be organized in the weeks to follow in other cities around the country.
Call, email, or tweet your senators and local representatives. Put pressure on them to stop the attacks, especially on Title X, which provides federal funding for family planning and preventative health services. It could have an impact on the federal funding allocated for these programs, which more than 4 million people rely on annually, and is currently being threatened.
Not everyone is an activist, and that’s okay.
Find a local abortion clinic through the National Network of Abortion Funds. Consider donating to Louisiana or another state—like Alabama or Kentucky—that also has more restrictive climates for abortions. Your money could help cover the cost for someone in need of care—be it gas to cover their trip to the clinic, child care if they have to leave their kids at home, or health care costs.
$20 million low-income women in this country still don’t have access to the birth control that they need. We believe that everyone should have access to affordable birth control, and if you share this belief, then you can donate to the Power to Decide contraception fund. The donations help fund projects like providing a monthly supply of birth control pills to someone in need or a gas card to someone whose health clinic is in another county.
Lastly, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood need all the financial aid they can get. Donate to support their legal efforts as they continue to fight for reproductive rights.
Find out where the family planning clinics are where you live. Reach out to see how you can help. It could be anything from providing patients with emotional support to giving clinics in need of repair a fresh coat of paint.
The future of women’s reproductive health may be uncertain, but there’s still time to protect family planning clinics and other programs and services providing reproductive health care. Join us in making our dollars count and our voices heard.