Support Your Sisters: Fight for Reproductive Justice
It was 2005 while in high school that I decided which “side” I was on in the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate that permeated into our social studies and civics units. In my Doc Martens and Nautica hoodies, suffice it to say there was little surprise to my friends and family when I labeled myself as pro-choice. But in the ten years since, my appreciation of – my capacity for – understanding this “debate” has deepened and shifted in a way that mirrors (or, more likely, has been informed by) the contemporary and progressive dialogue surrounding the topic of abortions. Today, it’s more than just a debate; it’s a national issue of economic and reproductive justice.
The limited framework of “choice” (and shift to larger framework about justice) is something that the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) has worked hard to shape. For NYAAF, it’s about all people who need reproductive health services, not just women. And it's about justice – not choice (for many, geography, access to financial assistance, etc. means that “choice” is actually a bit of a misnomer). In short, organizations like the NYAAF get it, and they have been helping reframe the way the country talks about abortion and abortion access.
So on April 26th, I am participating in a Bowl-a-thon to raise money that will strike down barriers to access to safe and responsible abortion options. NYAAF sponsors this event, their 6th annual, in New York City, but it’s by no means the only event of its kind. And by no means is NYAAF the only organization working toward these aims.
Nationally, “Bowling for Abortions” has taken hold, and Bowl-a-thons are taking place from Washington, to Texas, all the way to Rhode Island. These events bring together community members, activists, bowlers and non-bowlers alike to raise awareness and funds to cover expenses for low-income individuals seeking abortions.
Few people are “PRO-Abortion” and the success of this movement isn’t about how many abortions women are getting. That’s not the metric that anyone seeks. The metric that matters most is about access, relieving already overburdened clinics in regions have the onerous and arduous restrictions, and knocking down the institutional and political barriers that keep individuals from receiving abortion care.
I care about this issue because without resources, there is no “choice.” Outside of my tiny island of Manhattan, there are unfair abortion restrictions in many regions - few and far-between health centers, and costly procedures. Also, it’s incredibly meaningful helping build a movement for social and reproductive justice. This is why I will be bowling.
So if you are a woman (or really, any person), or if you have friends who are women or you have aunts, cousins, sisters, nieces and lady-neighbors, please consider donating five dollars for this cause. Trust that these decisions may be difficult to make but regardless, all people have the ability and the RIGHT to make decisions that govern their bodies and should have safe options to do so.
If you’re interested in helping “Strike” down barriers to abortion access, YOU’RE THE BEST! It’s safe, secure and easy to donate. While I’m tempted to tell you to support my team, in the spirit of fairness you can SUPPORT ALL THE TEAMS by going here: