Fighting The Heartbeat Bill: A Resource Guide

Today is a day I hoped wouldn’t happen. A day I dreaded, and a day I felt real pain thinking about. It is here. Today, Roe v. Wade was effectively overturned in Texas for all people who can get pregnant and might need an abortion. The devastation has been done as the Supreme Court has not taken action yet on it despite the emergency requests sent by the ACLU. Now people are not only able to but are encouraged and will be rewarded for filing civil lawsuits against anyone providing abortions. This bounty hunter style law will also create an environment where people stalk and harass those they might suspect are getting an abortion as patients. All while permit-less open carry is now law as of today too, on September 1st, 2021. This is a recipe for disaster.

Abortions will still be happening in Texas, just unsafely and at the risk of the patient’s life. Especially for those who do not know where to look to receive legal abortions still. “You will not be penalized for seeking an abortion through law as an individual […] Abortion is still legal for up to 20 weeks after “probable fertilization.”” (NeedAbortion.org FAQ) However, those who help and provide the procedure can possibly be fined up to “$10,000 in ‘statutory damages’ per abortion.” (CNBC) This is an event that seeks to overwhelm clinics and abortion funds with court fees, which ultimately would force them to shut down.

Many people who can get pregnant will seek less safe alternatives without the knowledge needed to get help in this dire time. Abortion is an all party issue because rich politicians across the aisle from each other will still require and be able to access abortions for their own. Who this effects and targets in particular is the average patient, more disproportionately harming Black and Brown communities as well as low-income and gender minorities across all communities. They are not allowed the right to family planning anymore.

All of this makes for a terrifying time to be alive. However, the fight continues on within the community. We won’t rest until reproductive rights are fully restored in Texas. Today I have for you a list of resources that can point you in the right direction. You CAN make a small difference today to aid in the fight for abortion access. All people of any gender or lack thereof that can get pregnant deserve abortion access if needed.

First I’d like to quote a tweet from Chase Strangio,

CC: “Give money to organizers not lawyers today.”

I mention that tweet as this list was put together with it in mind.
Let’s talk about who to support now, and what we can do today.

First I’d like to direct people to NeedAbortion . org, the source I quoted in my intro.
This website hosts a lot of information that is fact about what is going on with abortion access in Texas, SB8, and how you can seek a safe abortion still.

They have a list of clinics that are accessible to those needing aid, and if a pregnant person is under 18 they can call [Jane’s Due Process]. (https://janesdueprocess.org/)

NeedAbortion.org also has a support and donation pool that splits your donation across nine abortion funds that need your help today. These people provide aid with affording the procedure and logistical things like rides to the clinic, etc.

Donate here to the Texas Equal Access Fund, Support Your Sistah at the Afiya Center, Jane’s Due Process, Frontera Fund, the Lilith Fund, The Bridge Collective, Clinic Access Support Network, Fund Texas Choice and West Fund.

These are the top abortion funds in the state and directly aid those who need it most.

You can also volunteer with them to help with community outreach (not as much physical opportunities currently due to COVID-19 + Delta variant), practical support (rides to appointments), emotional support either through a doula program or attending to a companion text program (which is accessible if you cannot do phone calls), clinic escorting to evade anti-abortion protesters, legal observation or attend to the helpline.

Check with each of these funds listed above on their individual sites for volunteer opportunities. I’ll link Texas Equal Access Fund’s to get you started.

We need to get our boots on the ground, physically or digitally, and get out there to really aid the people where they are: in the community.

If you are seeking an abortion and are struggling to get support, abortion pills are also available with Plan C. On their website is where you can find out how to get them mailed to you or find them in person near where you live.

There is legal aid for those criminalized for self-managed abortion or miscarriage: Repro Legal Defense Fund is here to help with bail, court fees, and funding defense costs.

I would now like to give space to gender minorities who are experiencing this turbulent time along with everyone that is effected by laws impacting those with a uterus. This includes not just cisgender women but also transgender men, trans masculine people, and non-binary people of any and/or all genders and/or lack thereof. Remember to speak about this in neutral terms that get to the point without getting hung up on gendering pregnancy and abortion needs:

  • “Pregnant people/person” (when talking about those currently pregnant)
  • “People who can get pregnant”
  • “People with a uterus”

These are not dehumanizing and are the simple and real facts that help to better include everyone impacted by the Heartbeat Bill here in Texas and anywhere else for that matter.

You can find out more about how to best include trans and non-binary people in your reproductive rights activism with my $2 digital zine on the topic.

Let us move forward together and choose one thing to do immediately after reading this for our community. Help towards the fight for abortion access. Let us fight the Heartbeat Bill, and support organizers doing the work needed to combat it. Stay alive, stay safe, and fight with us.

-O

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