What is the best way to help support pro-choice causes?
May 4, 2016 11:33 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to help support women who are having to terminate a pregnancy or organizations that help these women?

Other than donating money, which I would love to do but am unable to at this time. I am a legal resident of GA but currently living in CA. Suggestions of "Vote!" are welcome, but please provide a link of who I should vote for so I can do more research.

I am also a very empathetic person so anything I can do in person would be something I'd be interested in.
posted by thebrokenmuse to Law & Government (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can volunteer as a clininc escort, or a clinic driver. I am assuming California is not as terrible as the South (I'm a Texan) at denying women the basic human right of medical care and decision-making about their bodies, but maybe California needs these things too. The other SUPER important thing in my view is to talk about abortion and being pro-choice openly so that it stops being viewed as a dirty little secret and starts being viewed as what it is — basic human health care and bodily autonomy.

http://www.abortionconversationproject.org/stigma/

Money helps so much though, especially in states like Texas where some people have to travel overnight to even visit a clinic. The money helps pay not only for the proocedure but also for transportation and hotel, and to supplement any non-paid time off the patient might have to take. Even if you can only give a little bit, it goes a long way.
posted by Brittanie at 11:49 PM on May 4, 2016 [7 favorites]


You can try being a volunteer escort.

Planned Parenthood lists volunteer positions, find something in your area if you can, they do list volunteer escort positions.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:52 PM on May 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you want to give time, become a volunteer escort.
If you want to give money, consider donating to an abortion fund.
posted by honeybee413 at 4:37 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Escorting is a great way to get involved!

If you want to get more involved doing direct service, the best thing you can do to help individuals seeking abortions is to volunteer as a hotline case manager for Georgia's Magnolia Fund, or, since you live in CA, with ACCESS Women's Health Justice or the Women's Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, which are both based there and seem to have lots of service volunteer opportunities. As a hotline/case manager volunteer you'd speak directly with callers who need financial and/or logistical assistance obtaining abortions.

One major reason for this great need is that Medicaid is explicitly barred from funding them and most states' health plans don't. So if you wanted to work to address this politically, you could also support the EACH Woman act, which is seeking to overturn the Hyde Amendment (the rule that bans federal funding for abortions).
posted by kickingthecrap at 5:15 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Escorting is a great way to get involved, but I would say that the best course of action for you is to find your local clinic (might be Planned Parenthood but might also be an independent clinic of some sort), give them a call, and ask them what kind of volunteer help they need. I loved escorting and recommend it, but it is sort of the flashy way of volunteering - it might be that your clinic has some other more pressing use for volunteers.

You might also look to see if there's an abortion fund in your area and contact them with the same question. They might need someone to help transport people, or provide lodgings for overnight stays, or some other sort of direct non-monetary action that you can do.
posted by Stacey at 6:24 AM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Escorting is a great way to get involved, but I would say that the best course of action for you is to find your local clinic (might be Planned Parenthood but might also be an independent clinic of some sort), give them a call, and ask them what kind of volunteer help they need. I loved escorting and recommend it, but it is sort of the flashy way of volunteering - it might be that your clinic has some other more pressing use for volunteers.

Yes! I volunteered for Planned Parenthood for a while, and what they needed me to do was file things. So I filed things. Because it freed up the time of the people who had the training and expertise in helping protect reproductive rights to do that, rather than having to file paperwork. Volunteering wasn't about me and my needs, it was about making sure the organization could work as effectively as possible.
posted by lazuli at 6:55 AM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Escorting is a great way to get involved, but I would say that the best course of action for you is to find your local clinic (might be Planned Parenthood but might also be an independent clinic of some sort), give them a call, and ask them what kind of volunteer help they need. I loved escorting and recommend it, but it is sort of the flashy way of volunteering - it might be that your clinic has some other more pressing use for volunteers.

Because the world is horrible and full of monsters, you cannot actually just do this at Planned Parenthood. (Can't speak for other independent clinics.) Anyone you speak to there will direct you to their online application process--from there you will be (eventually) interviewed and security-screened, then if you are selected, trained. It's basically a job application process. They will absolutely not give you any information about their volunteer needs over the phone.

Please don't be put off by how people are describing escorting in this thread, btw; at clinics with heavy protest activity they are what clinics need. And frankly, in my experience, many other volunteer positions with Planned Parenthood require very large time commitments --3 days per week between 9 and 5 for six months, for example-- that working folks just can't accommodate. I know volunteering isn't "about you and your needs" but you do still have to pay rent, after all.

Best of luck to you!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 8:31 AM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


While volunteering at the Planned Parenthood clinics involves a rigorous opaque selection process (for the security reasons mentioned), if there is a Planned Parenthood Action Fund office near you, they also need volunteers and their screening process/security measures are not as stringent (PPACT is the political action committee affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit healthcare provider).

You are definitely supporting the pro choice community and the furthering the struggle to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible by volunteering with PPAACT, just as you would be working in a clinic, or as an escort, or the other suggestions in the thread. Volunteers at my local PPACT does media workshops (for letter writing campaigns during pertinent parts of the legislative process); education events (about a range of sexual health issues); marches; fundraiser gala support; booths at music festivals & community festivals; office support and GOTV.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:00 AM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


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