Honor Roe By Funding Abortions

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. We’ve been sharing the history of Roe, and we’ll continue to be talking about Roe throughout the month.  But I thought we could take a quick time out from the history lessons and talk about how we can all honor Roe right now – today – all year.

One of the biggest challenges for patient access to abortion is funding.  Economic access intersects race, class, age, gender, and sexual orientation lines.  While an abortion in the first trimester may only cost $350 – $500 (and I say this very loosely), that’s still a lot of money to obtain.  As patients struggle to raise that money, the cost increases the longer they wait – and so does the need for more financial help.

Arizona has some of the worst abortion laws in the US. We seem to like setting the example for other states to follow.  We had three anti-abortion bills pass in 2012, and the bill that has received the most national attention is the 20-week gestation ban.  The bill provides a crazy definition of when gestation starts, so the bill has an injunction while the courts debate when pregnancy actually occurs.  However, when the bill goes into effect, many patients will have to travel out of state to get an abortion – which will only increase the cost and difficulty of obtaining their health care.

The proof is in the pudding.  [Read more...]

Thinking About What Roe Means to Me

The past week has included three incredible celebrations of Roe for me. The first event was a film screening at the UA of “Jane: An Abortion Service.” This film tells the story of Jane, an underground abortion service that helped Chicago women get abortions pre-Roe. Listening to the women of Jane tell their story is so inspiring, and it’s a big part of my motivation for starting an abortion fund in Arizona. Thank you to the Women’s Resource Center at the UA for sponsoring such an incredible event.

Saturday was even more exciting. Abortion Access Network of Arizona had its very first house party fundraiser. One of our board members invited us into her home and provided an overwhelming food spread. Thanks to the generosity of her friends and family, AANA raised over $1400 – which means we will be able to fund another 28 women seeking abortions.

Last night I went to an unofficial Roe Happy Hour with some friends at the bar. We toasted Roe, drank to women’s health, and talked about the things we want to do to keep serving women here in Arizona. It was nice to have a relaxed atmosphere to plot our activism together! [Read more...]

Friday News Roundup: The Roe Edition

Hey Ya’ll – tonight’s the big night.  We’ve got tweetups in New York and Tucson to celebrate the 38th anniversary of Roe; and tomorrow is our tweetup in Dallas.  We hope you’ll join us . . . there are exciting guest speakers in store.  You don’t want to miss this!

In the mean time, here are some Roe-related links to get you in the mood to celebrate Roe.

Thoughts on Dr. Kermit Gosnell and the Anniversary of Roe v. WadeAbortion Clinic Days
Right to an Abortion is About to Become for the Rich Only – RH Reality Check
Roe v. Wade Anniversary: Time for Celebration and Commitment – HuffPo

If you live in Arizona, celebrate Roe by signing up to attend the Women’s Health Lobby Day on February 8th.

Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights to Celebrate Roe v. Wade in Style

Do you live in the Bay Area? Are you looking for a way to celebrate the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade? Then bring your signs, your noise makers, and your bullhorns, and parade your Pro-Choice self down the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Meet up with the Bay Area Coalition of Reproductive Rights (BACORR) January 22, 2011 at Harry Bridges Plaza, the island strip in front of the San Francisco Ferry Building at 11:00 AM, and march at 12:00.

BACORR started in 1988 with two goals: defending Bay Area clinics against the harassment and violence, and building a diverse movement of reproductive rights activists to a strong community base of support for reproductive rights and family planning clinics.

Somer Leon is one of the organizers of the BACORR parade. “Sadly, the anti-choice ‘Walk for Life’ will be coming into SF the same day in support of criminalizing abortions,” says Leon. “Now, more than ever, we need to be vocal, be present, and be active in our support for pro-choice policies.”

For more information about BACORR, or the Roe v. Wade celebration, visit their website.

In Memorium: The Tiller Round Up

May 31st marks the anniversary of the murder of Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider from Kansas. Here are some of the many posts that have been written about Dr. Tiller here on Feminist For Choice, as well as across the pro-choice blogosphere.

George Tiller: A Man at the Front Lines – Feminists For Choice
Remembering Dr. Tiller – Feminists For Choice
Debating the Definition of Terrorism – Feminists For Choice
Not a Lone Wolf – Ms. Magazine
When a Lone Wolf is Not Alone – Daily Kos

It’s kind of ironic that this anniversary falls on Memorial Day this year, a day typically reserved for those who have been killed while serving in the military. I don’t want to militarize the discussion, but the fact of the matter is that abortion providers are literally on the front lines of a culture war. Doctors should have to risk their lives in order to provide medical care to women – it’s just ridiculous.

One Year Later

I remember exactly where I was when I found out that Dr. George Tiller had been murdered. I remember what I said to my husband, and I remember calling my parents and sister and sitting on my couch restlessly channel-surfing between CNN and MSNBC while refreshing the New York Times website on my laptop. I craved information, details, concrete words to attempt to make sense out of something so incredibly unreal. One year later, it still seems unreal.

The other night I was making dinner and thinking about how it’s been almost twelve months and I realized that this loss is too big and far-reaching to ever make sense. Dr. Tiller is gone. Say the words again: Dr. Tiller is gone. And think of the reason why: because he helped women and families. How can that ever make sense? It can’t, and it shouldn’t. I’ve been struggling to write this post, but honestly, the words are escaping me.

The death of Dr. Tiller has left such a huge hole that will never fully close, it hurts to even think about. My heart goes out to his family, to his staff, to all the women whose lives he saved. Dr. Tiller’s courage, his compassion, and his dedication to helping others is a constant inspiration to all of us in the pro-choice community to keep working, to keep fighting, and to never give up. [Read more...]