The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was a great relief to people concerned about reproductive justice issues after four years of the disastrous Trump administration. But for many state legislatures, the 2020 election delivered a red wave that has so far delivered on its promises to attack abortion rights from every angle, including constitutional amendments, legal challenges and extreme and unscientific legislation aimed at making access nearly impossible.
In Kansas and Oklahoma, states where Trust Women provides abortion care, the state legislatures have made it a priority to go after abortion access from day one. The Kansas legislature passed a ballot measure intent on removing the right to abortion from the state constitution; it will be voted on in the August 2022 primary elections. In Oklahoma, nearly two dozen anti-choice bills were introduced—many are moving through the legislature at this time.
Across the country, there is an urgent need for people passionate about reproductive freedom to take action, but you may not know where to begin. Here are five simple ways you can get involved and start making a difference right now.
Every local clinic has different needs, but one thing is true across the board: there is always plenty of work to go around. Whether it’s administrative help, patient liaisons or escorts, volunteering can be a great way to get to know your community in a new and fulfilling way. (During the COVID-19 pandemic, many clinics may be limiting in-person volunteering, so make sure to reach out by phone or email before you show up.)
Trust Women operates clinics in Wichita, Kansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that offer comprehensive and compassionate reproductive health care. It’s easy to get involved—whether at the clinic or supporting our political work through canvassing, phone banking or get out the vote drives—just visit our volunteer page to discover all the different ways you can join the Trust Women community.
Our volunteer extraordinaire Deb Leep talks about the benefits of volunteering in this short video:
The paper edition of many city newspapers may not be getting as much circulation as it used to, but online editorials are a great way to make sure your voice is heard. Each news organization has a different policy for letters to the editor, but in general, you’ll want to keep your letter short (typically no more than 500 words for opinion pieces and 250 words for letters to the editor), to the point and focused on your city or state’s issues.
When writing about abortion, it’s good to keep in mind some best practices to help readers hear your message:
Get involved in protecting and expanding abortion access in your state. Trust Women holds regular virtual volunteer outreach meetings to discuss current events, review legislation regarding reproductive rights and coordinate advocacy response. Meetings are organized by state, and currently focused on Kansas and Oklahoma.
There’s no prior experience necessary, only a passion for reproductive justice and a desire to get connected with like-minded people in your community.
Abortion care is community care, and no one does this work alone. The best spokesperson for your community is you, and it’s easy to get started spreading the word about reproductive justice. You can share news stories about abortion rights, share testimonies from people who have had abortions collected at WeTestify.org or even share the article you’re reading right now.
There’s not really a wrong way to get your immediate community involved. The more we talk with each other, the stronger our voices become. Make sure to follow Trust Women on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest news in reproductive justice.
The strength of any reproductive health care clinic is a result of support from its community, advocacy organizations and independent funds that provide monetary support for patients seeking abortion care. And while the public perception of abortion organizations is often of plucky grassroots organizations, it’s important to remember that every clinic is a genuine medical facility, with all of the attendant costs to operate.
Organizations like the Trust Women perform research, polling and lobbying on behalf of constituents across the country. This work feeds directly into awareness, get out the vote campaigns and clinic support that keeps abortion care available and accessible across the country.
Abortion funds provide supplemental funding for abortions for people who need them but may not be able to afford the service on their own. You can find your local abortion fund at the National Network of Abortion Funds website. Trust Women has a no turn away policy and provides care regardless of one’s ability to pay. This is possible, not only through the in-house fund, but also by working with dozens of other funds every year.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get involved and start making a difference in your community right now. Be sure to visit Trust Women’s website to stay up-to-date with all the most current opportunities.