What's at Stake in the Fight for Abortion Access

Abortion access is critical to bodily autonomy and women's liberation, and that access has been chipped away at since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973. Since 2010 alone, over 400 new restrictions on abortions have been passed across the country, and 87% of US counties lack abortion providers. Lawmakers in 14 states have introduced legislation this year prohibiting abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, a sizable increase from the eight states that proposed similar measures at this point last year.

One tactic for protecting abortion rights is to build an unapologetic, militant pro-abortion movement by defending our clinics from anti-abortion protestors. Outpatient clinics account for 95% of all abortions provided in the United States each year. Their physical isolation makes clinics an easy target for anti-abortion extremism. Anti-abortion violence and harassment outside of clinics have not only become routine; they are escalating in severity: 34% of clinics reported severe violence in 2016, up from 20% in 2014. As right-wing attacks on clinics are on the rise again, we aim to reclaim the space in front of clinics, end the shame and stigma around abortion, and build a grassroots movement for abortion access.

Another tactic is to fight to expand access to at-home medication abortions and push for opportunities for feminist leverage created by our lowest birth rate on record, the result of women's spontaneous "birth strike" in response to the difficult conditions for having children.

A tangential fight is taking place to make medication abortion available in student health centers. Phoebe Abramowitz discusses the campaign that started at UC Berkeley which led to legislation in CA that could expand to law and a national movement.

Sponsored by National Women's Liberation and NYC for Abortion Rights.

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