On Tuesday night, Alabama's State Senate passed a sweeping bill effectively banning abortion in the state. If signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, women would be banned from getting an abortion after six weeks, which is before many even realize that they're pregnant. (Remember: the laws haven't changed yet, and you can still get an abortion in Alabama and many other states that have passed similar laws).
The rights of women in the state have been rolled back progressively for years — Alabama currently has only three facilities providing abortion — yet the draconian new bill represents a new and aggressive anti-choice push from the ruling minority that is the religious far-right. The lawmakers who sponsored the bill hope that their legislation, which contains myriad cruelty like sentencing abortion doctors to more prison time than convicted rapists, will lead to a Supreme Court challenge. Eventually, perhaps overturning Roe Vs. Wade.
It's a dark time. Similar bills like the one passed in Alabama last night have already been signed or are being considered in Ohio, Utah, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Georgia. The fight to ensure woman have control over their own bodies and lives will be a long one. Here are some ways to get involved:
Donate your time and money
In states across America, different organizations provide funding for low-income women to get abortions. The money can cover travel, hotels, and any other financial barrier that could stop someone.
Social scientist Steph Herold tweeted out a list of abortion support groups across the United States. Find it here. Below, we've listed some support organizations from the states that have recently passed new and repressive abortion laws.
Support those who decide to share their story, and respect anyone who doesn't want to
Soon after the bill was passed, actress and talk show host Busy Philipps asked women who have had abortions to share their stories. "1 in 4 women have had an abortion," she wrote. "Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth."
The hashtag went viral with stories that were harrowing, sad, and inspirational — they were so personal that as a man, it's impossible to imagine the courage it would take to come forward. Similarly, it would be unthinkable to look down on any woman who could not share their story publicly. If you know someone who's had an abortion and hasn't told many people, give them your love and support in what may be a very triggering news cycle for them.
Register to vote
Vote in primaries, vote in small local races, vote in midterms, vote for president. Vote, and keep making sure you're still registered to vote.