guest post by Provo ProVoice
This Saturday, March 21st, Provo ProVoice will host a rally at Memorial Park (800 East Center Street) in Provo at 12:15 PM in support of abortion access and reproductive rights in Utah and nationwide. The following is our list of demands for Utah Senators and representatives at both the state and federal level. You can find out more about our rally and RSVP on our event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1572519496349177/
List of Demands for Utah Senators and Representatives
- Support the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would stop the state-by-state erosion of constitutionally protected reproductive rights by prohibiting states from imposing unconstitutional restrictions on reproductive health care providers, interfere with women’s personal decision making, or block access to safe and legal abortion services. Utah state representatives and Senators should also introduce and pass similar legislation on the state level.
- Expand Medicaid to help more people be able to afford quality contraception and reproductive health services.
- Require that public schools include medically accurate information on contraception and consent in sex education classes as well as information about abstinence.
- Provide state funding for STI prevention programs.
- Allow both the parental consent and notification requirement for minors seeking abortions to be cleared by a court injunction determining that the minor is sufficiently mature to make their own decisions or that abortion would be in the minor’s best interest.
- Allow private and public health insurance, including Medicaid, to include abortion coverage in their packages of benefits, no exceptions.
- Remove targeted regulations for abortion providers (TRAP) that include 1) requiring abortion providers to be within 15 minutes of a hospital with transfer agreements and admitting privileges, making abortion for people in rural areas nearly impossible; 2) requiring ridiculous physical plant regulations, including specific requirements dictating various room sizes, the type of lighting used in storerooms, laundries, and hallways, the type of fabric used on window coverings, and the height of the ceiling in the boiler room.
- Remove the 72-hour waiting period that makes abortion for low-income people and people living in rural areas nearly impossible.
- Remove the requirement that physicians must offer to inject the pregnant person with anesthesia or analgesic to supposedly alleviate the fetus’s pain during the procedure, as fetuses are incapable of feeling pain before 24 weeks gestation.
- Remove the requirement that state counseling convey the state’s preference for childbirth over abortion, introducing gross state interference into a private medical decision.
- Listen to constituents who are willing to tell their stories about obtaining abortions and learn why people get abortions, how complex and difficult the situations can be, and why government should not be involved in making this choice for pregnant people.
Abortion Help Services
- If you need a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about your abortion or unintended pregnancy, these three hotlines offer confidential, judgment-free emotional support, resources, and information from trained staff:
- Exhale: 1-866-4-EXHALE / M-F 5-10pm PT, Sat-Sun 12-10pm PT (https://exhaleprovoice.org/) – After-abortion talkline for people who have abortions as well as their friends and family.
- Backline: 1-888-493-0092 / M-Th 5-10pm, F-Su 10am-3pm (http://yourbackline.org/) – Talk about pregnancy, parenting, abortion, or adoption concerns.
- Connect & Breathe: 1-866-647-1764 / T, Th 6-9pm ET, Sat 10am-2pm ET (http://connectandbreathe.org/) – Talk about your abortion, whether it happened today for many years ago.
- If you find yourself unable to pay for an abortion and need to raise money for it, be warned: GoFundMe deletes the accounts of people who use the service to crowdfund an abortion (while keeping up anti-abortion fundraisers). YouCaring (http://www.youcaring.com/) specializes in raising funds for medical procedures, doesn’t charge any fees, and doesn’t take down abortion fundraisers.
- Check out the National Network of Abortion Funds (http://www.fundabortionnow.org/) to obtain funds if you are in need of an abortion and are unable to pay for it. Utah’s fund options aren’t great, but they may be able to help.
Actions to Support Reproductive Rights
- Like and follow some of these organizations on social media to keep up on the latest reproductive rights news:
- NARAL Pro-Choice America
- RH Reality Check
- Planned Parenthood Action
- National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
- New Voices Cleveland
- Students for Choice Utah
- Faith Aloud
- Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- Catholics for Choice
- Let people know you are pro-choice so that your friends know you are a safe person to discuss an unintended pregnancy with.
- Read helpful tips for listening and responding in a compassionate way when someone tells you they’ve had an abortion. http://provoicesupportblog.tumblr.com/post/113371675518/responses
- March 26 is Love UT Give UT 2015. Consider donating to Planned Parenthood as your chosen nonprofit! Planned Parenthood does great work providing all kinds of reproductive health care services to everyone, especially low-income persons.
- If you are interested in helping expand abortion and reproductive care access worldwide, these organizations do good work to provide safe, legal abortion, as well as other sexual and reproductive health care, to people in countries all over the world. Donate to help pregnant people worldwide have safe, legal, accessible reproductive care:
- Write to your Senator or representative to let them know about your pro-choice views on abortion and reproductive health care rights. Here are several different sample letters to help you get started.
- Advice for writing your own letter: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-southern-finger-lakes/get-involved-locally/activist-toolbox/writing-letter-your-representative