The last clinic to offer abortions in Missouri could close by the end of the week if the state doesn't renew its license. If that's the case, then Missouri will become the first state in the nation to not offer legal abortions. But, according to Planned Parenthood's senior director of communications, there's still something you can do to help Missouri's last abortion clinic stay open in the coming days.
"As we’re seeing today, unless the state takes action or unless the courts intervene, Missouri will lose the clinic," Erica Sackin, a senior director of communications for Planned Parenthood, tells Bustle. "First and foremost, if you’re able to get to Missouri, going to the Planned Parenthood rally on Thursday is the best thing you can do."
Sackin is referencing a rally that will be held on Thursday, May 30. It's called an "Emergency Response Rally" and will be hosted by Planned Parenthood in Luther Ely Smith Square in St. Louis, Missouri. All of the information you need is available on the event's Facebook page.
But for those who are unable to attend, another simple way to get involved is to text NO BANS to 22422. This will keep you in the loop on upcoming events (like rallies and protests) near you.
Additionally, you can donate to organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, which are fighting to keep abortion legal through the court systems. You can also donate to abortion funds, which Sackin calls the "unsung heroes" of the movement. Abortion funds, she explains, "are often the places where people will turn to when they need to access abortion… and may not have the funds to drive the hundreds of miles across state lines, because they now need to." You can look here to find out what abortion funds exist in various parts of the country.
You can also reach out to your local Planned Parenthood and volunteer, or even simply take the time to talk about the abortion rights movement to your friends. "We’ve already seen a lot of people worried that they can’t access abortion anymore… and it’s so important that everyone knows that abortion is still legal in all 50 states, for now," she says. "It's important that people know that they don’t have to cancel their appointment."
For this reason, it's crucial to "tell your story, share the facts, share information," she adds. You can check out some of these stats on abortion in America if you're looking for specific numbers.
Lastly, electing officials who will represent your goals in office is key, especially considering the upcoming presidential election, Sackin emphasizes.
"There’s no state in this country where a majority want to see abortion banned. Politicians are acting outside of the will or interest of their constituents," she adds. "Elections really matter, especially if you care about access to abortion. That’s going to be on the line in 2020." You can check out this breakdown of where presidential candidates stand on abortion policy if you'd like to know more.
Ultimately, according to Sackin, there's a plethora of ways to get involved in the abortion rights movement, no matter where you live. "There’s no reason to treat abortion any differently than any other medical procedure," she says. And by supporting the aforementioned efforts, you can make your voice heard.