Austin Women's Health Center Blog&Inspiration

Abortion Advocacy is For Everyone

August 30, 2021
Abortion Advocacy is For Everyone

Have you been wanting to become more involved in your local abortion advocacy community? Did Senate Bill 8 — which bans abortion beyond six weeks effective September 1 — push you to a point of no return, and now you’re burning with a fiery passion to fight back against the patriarchy, and the racist and classist abortion bans that disproportionately impact marginalized communities? We got you.

Being an advocate may seem intimidating, especially for people who don’t have supportive friends or family members, for people with busy schedules, or if you live in an area where abortion is restricted and stigmatized. These things can make it hard to feel safe speaking openly about a topic like abortion. And people with busy schedules may be wondering how to get involved. But we want to help you feel more comfortable with the idea of advocating for abortion care in a way that feels best for you. Whether you’re sharing positive messaging on social media, telling your abortion story, volunteering with a local group, testifying at your local council meeting, donating your time or money, or leaving informative reviews on crisis pregnancy centers, there is space for you. And we want you to know that no matter what you’re able to offer, it’s all important. 

Volunteer for your local abortion funds

Volunteering for an abortion fund may seem like a commitment beyond what you’re able to provide, but it’s helpful to know that, generally, it’s often something that can be tailored to your specific situation. For example, you might not be able to volunteer for things that require in-person commitments, but some organizations have needs that can be accommodated remotely — especially when it comes to abortion funding. 

Some organizations also have a need for people to drive abortion patients to and from their clinics or to open up their guest room or couch to a person traveling for their appointment. It’s always helpful to reach out to local groups directly to see what their current specific volunteer needs are, and you are always welcome to stick to your own boundaries when it comes to what you’re comfortable volunteering for. Communicating any concerns or questions is also a helpful way to problem solve any factors that may be a barrier to you volunteering.

Share positive messaging on social media

Having a conversation about abortion can sometimes be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, especially when people close to us in our lives are anti-abortion. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel safe to talk about it without risking harassment. That’s okay. But often it’s easier to share positive messaging on social media. It can feel validating and cathartic to know we put our beliefs out into the world not knowing if every person reading it will agree. Still, there is always a chance a person who has had, or will have, an abortion will see your post and feel both safe and supported in their decision after reading your words. Shout Your Abortion and We Testify are wonderful places to find pro-abortion imagery, messaging, and stories to share on social media. 

Share your abortion story

For those of us who’ve had an abortion, our very existence is a form of resistance against a system designed against our right to have one. Our abortion stories are a form of activism. When we share those stories, we’re shifting the narrative that continues to tell us that what we did is wrong and that we will regret it. But most people don’t regret their abortion. Most people feel relieved. That doesn’t mean we can’t feel other emotions along with that relief, though. Unfortunately, anti-abortion extremists have used our stories against us by twisting our words and only hearing what they want to hear. But there is not one type of abortion; there is no “perfect” abortion. There are just abortions, and all of our experiences with it are valid. 

If you’re thinking of sharing your story, check out Shout Your Abortion where you can read a wide range of experiences with abortion — and even submit your own (it can be anonymous!)

Submit testimony 

Do you want lawmakers to know how anti-abortion bills will negatively impact and harm people in your community? Have you wanted to share your story with lawmakers in hopes of stopping bad legislation from being implemented? Follow local abortion groups on social media to stay up to date with local council meetings and hearings involving anti-choice bills. Anyone can testify, and if you don’t have the capacity to testify in person, submitting written testimony or testimony over the phone may also be options for you. You can even connect with other local advocates at organizations to help come up with a plan for your specific testimony.

Donate to local groups

If you don’t have the capacity to advocate for abortion in other ways, but have the financial ability to become a donor to an abortion fund, you can support people seeking abortions financially and logistically! Abortion funds and practical support organizations rely on donors to sustain their mission of providing assistance to people seeking abortions. These groups do not receive federal or state funding and without the generosity of their supporters, they would not be able to continue the work they do. You can provide a one-time donation or sign up to be a monthly donor where the impact of your donation continues to multiply. 

Leave Informative Reviews Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Crisis pregnancy centers maliciously lie and deceive pregnant people seeking abortions, and they’ve learned how to manipulate search engines in order to appear in the search results of people seeking abortion care. Typically, these centers are located near reputable licensed abortion clinics and use similar sounding names or messaging in their advertising. They hope people will mistake their building for their abortion clinic, miss their appointment, and change their mind after being harassed by people pretending to be medical professionals. Usually, we can tell if a business is a crisis pregnancy center by looking at the reviews where patients have shared endless negative experiences when it comes to the harassment they received about abortion. Sometimes leaving helpful and informative reviews of crisis pregnancy centers can help others avoid experience stigmatizing — and what many have described as traumatizing — treatment.