The One Thing On International Women's Day That Will Help American Women Everywhere
International Women's Day (IWD) is a global celebration of women's social, political, economic, and cultural advancements, as well as a call to action for women and their allies in the fight for gender equality. Though the fight for women's rights is global, this year's IWD comes at a time when women's reproductive rights in the United States are particularly at risk. A current Supreme Court case will help set the precedent for a woman's right to access an abortion. Though the outcome of that particular case is yet to be determined, you can still do your part this IWD to support women's reproductive rights.
Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments over the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2), a 2013 measure which passed massive restrictions on women seeking safe and legal abortions. The sweeping bill banned abortions after 20 weeks and required that facilities providing both surgical and medical abortions meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, causing the cost of their care to skyrocket. Doctors providing these abortions also must have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics. The bill has seen the number of clinics in Texas reduced from 41 to 18 in a little over two and a half years.
Opponents want the Supreme Court to overturn the bill on the basis that it violates a woman's right to end a pregnancy. They also argue that the bill's provisions are wholly unnecessary, designed specifically to limit women's access to abortion. By dramatically hiking up expenses and reducing the number of clinics, it gives women less of a chance to have their abortions before the 20-week cutoff.
You can help ensure that women continue to have access to abortions that are both safe and legal. Helping secure a woman's fundamental right to her own body is an admirable task for IWD. One group which works to do just that is Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP). The organization's stated mission is:
[Providing] funds to pre-screened, pre-qualified health clinics across the nation on behalf of poor and disadvantaged women in need of abortion services or emergency contraceptives, on a case-by-case basis. Our affiliate clinics are members of Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation, and both feature the latest, state-of-the-art facilities, and best practices and procedures.
There are several easy ways to help out WRRAP. You can go the more traditional route of volunteering your time or donating money. You can also donate each time you shop on Amazon through AmazonSmile, which will take out portions of the proceeds of your purchases and donate them to WRRAP.
With so much at stake this IWD, it's important to pay attention to how the everyday lives of women are being affected by anti-choice legislation.