Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Reproductive Justice for All

There are so many fantastic organizations that support Reproductive Rights and further Reproductive Justice. Some are direct action, others focus on the courts, and some directly serve patients, but what they all have in common is they are always looking for people to join the fight and advocate for healthcare, privacy, and personal autonomy.

Here are 5 Organizations that I support (and you should, too)

1. Missouri Abortion Fund 
The mission of MoAF (formerly Gateway Women's Access Fund) is to provide public education and support for people needing reproductive health services, primarily by providing financial assistance to Missouri residents who cannot afford the full cost of abortion care. MoAF is a 100% volunteer organization, so you know your donations go straight to where they're needed most. 

I've been a volunteer with MoAF since 2016 and was the first recipient of their Volunteer of the Year award in 2018. I continue to help with their communications and social media presence.

MoAF is a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF). You can also support NNAF with an Individual Membership that also supports your local fund (and they send you an awesome membership gift every year).

Follow MoAF on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri

A grassroots advocacy group working to protect every person’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including but not limited to preventive care, family planning, sexuality education, prenatal and postnatal health care, and accessible, legal abortion.

If you're looking for a way to get involved, the Clinic Escort program is run by NARAL. Escort teams have served the clinics in the Saint Louis region for 35 years. 
A few years back, I wrote an article for Rewire News about my experience as a clinic escort

NARAL Organizers were also recently a part of a coalition to gather signatures in support of Medicaid Expansion in MO. It was amazing to be part of this campaign as a volunteer Notary, and I am excited to support this issue on the ballot. 

Watch for additional opportunities to volunteer with NARAL during the upcoming election season. If you're a candidate, you can apply for their endorsement, or as a voter, you can watch to see which candidates get an endorsement or the 100% Pro-Choice rating (depending on the office sought). 

Follow NARAL MO on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

3. Reproductive Health Services (RHS) 

RHS is operated by Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and the only abortion provider in the state of Missouri. As with all Planned Parenthood locations, they pride themselves on providing healthcare, no matter what.

Planned Parenthood also has a political arm in Planned Parenthood Advocates. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund works to advance access to sexual health care and defend reproductive rights. Watch for ways to get involved during this campaign season to work for Pro-Choice candidates as well as the annual condom crawl and presence at community events.

Follow RHS on Facebook and Instagram

4. Reproaction 

Follow Reproaction for forward-looking campaigns to advance Reproductive Justice. Reproaction has a presence not only nationally, but here in Missouri as well as DC, VA, and WI. 

A current campaign running in MO is to raise awareness of the unnecessarily high Maternal and Infant Mortality rate in this state, working to connect maternal and infant mortality rates with the broader issues that contribute to the crisis. 

There are also National campaigns to raise awareness including one about Self-Managed Abortion, and Exposing Fake Clinics (Crisis Pregnancy Centers). Campaigns all connect to direct action, so this organization is a great way to get involved hands-on. If you've ever seen her speak, you already know why you should follow Co-Founder Pamela Merritt on Twitter @SharkFu.

Follow Reproaction on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

5. Hope Clinic

Your local independent clinic is located just 10 minutes across the river from Saint Louis in Granite City, Illinois. 3 out of every 5 people who have an abortion do so at an independent clinic like Hope. You can give directly here to help them keep costs as low as possible for patients. 

If you haven't seen this Q&A with Executive Director Dr. Erin King about compassionate care during a pandemic, it's worth a read to understand the urgency and additional stress our medical professionals are coping with during COVID-19.

Follow Hope Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.

Here are some additional organizations to follow/support:

Clinic Vest Project - Providing Pro-Choice Clinic Escort Vests and supporting the escort community
Feminist Majority Foundation - Providing training, blogs, and action resources
Emily's List - Changing the political landscape by electing Pro-Choice Women
Vote Pro-Choice - Supporting Pro-Choice candidates; Pro-Choice voter guide
•  If/When/HowTransforming law & policy landscape through advocacy, support, and organizing 
A Pro-Choice MO Starts TodayFunding every Pro-Choice Dem nominee for the state legislature 
UltravioletDriving feminist cultural and political change
Sister SongImproving institutional policies & systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities
Abortion Access FrontComedians, writers, & producers using humor to destigmatize abortion
Rewire NewsOnline publication covering reproductive and sexual health, rights and justice