Hope. There isn’t much of it to go around these days, particularly if you are seeking abortion care, an abortion provider, or your rights are being taken away. That’s why Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA) exists and what sparks our fires every day – to instill hope and inspire action toward a better future.
As Fannie Lou Hamer said, “nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” At WWHA, we believe that each person has an intrinsic right to bodily autonomy. This nonprofit was founded in 2015 to fight for and provide compassionate abortion care in places where access is dwindling (or even nonexistent). We’re also here shift the narrative around abortion care in our country and combat the stigma that is often reflected in language, policies, and regulations. We want to let every person who has had or will have an abortion know that they are not alone. We are inspired by the patients we serve, the staff we work alongside, and the communities that support us in little and big ways. We are in this together and it’s going to take all of us to go up against the anti-abortion lawmakers in power throughout the Midwest and South. This is the first of our monthly newsletters that will provide updates about our work, ways you can fight for reproductive freedom, and a bit of hope along the way.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President & CEO
Jesse Torrey, Managing Director
Abortion is Our Work
WWHA serves as a plaintiff in a major lawsuit against Texas’ Senate Bill 8, a devastating ban on abortion after 6 weeks. The law goes into effect in just 2 weeks on September 1st. In addition to our legal fight to challenge this ban, we are preparing compliance and contingency plans in case it’s enforced. The dissonance for our staff is rough – to work on fighting back and compliance planning at the same time can be soul-crushing. But we keep our hearts and minds rooted in our mission and vision, and remind each other often that these laws do not represent WWHA’s values or the beliefs of the majority of Texans. Ironically, the Fifth Circuit also just handed another big blow to abortion access yesterday by upholding a ban on D&E abortions. These bans may be called method bans or gestational bans, but let’s be clear – they are abortion bans with the intent of blocking Texans’ access to safe abortion care.
Save the date for September 1st at 12:00pm *wherever you are*. Texas’ Trust Respect Access (TRA) Coalition is planning a nationwide action to make it clear that we do not want these abortion bans. Join in solidarity with us as we say loud and clear: Bans Off Our Bodies! Follow us @wwhalliance for info on how you can participate.
On June 30th, a federal district court blocked an Indiana measure forcing abortion providers to share false and misleading information with their patients about “reversing” a medication abortion in All-Options, Inc, WWHA, et al. v. Indiana. In addition, after two years and two trials, on August 10th a federal court blocked several long-standing Indiana abortion restrictions in WWHA v. Rokita. Although the State has already filed an appeal, we celebrate this win as we continue to fight. These are tremendous victories for abortion rights – just when Hoosiers and this entire country need it most!
WWHA is proud to be a member of UnRestrict Minnesota, a cross-sector coalition that works to protect, expand, and destigmatize access to abortion care in Minnesota. This August, WWHA is partnering with UnRestrict Minnesota on a collaborative fundraising campaign, and this is your chance to help strengthen the movement. Your gift will support 18 MN-based organizations, including WWHA, who are fighting for reproductive health and rights in the state!
WWHA is also a proud member of the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (VREA). The VREA is planning for the 2022 legislative session and working on developing a proactive legislative agenda to continue efforts to preserve and expand access to abortion in the Commonwealth. Great strides were made with the passage of the Reproductive Health Protection Act (RHPA) in 2020, yet there is more to be done!
Shifting Abortion Stigma
WWHA is committed to fostering open and honest conversations, lifting up all communities, and advocating for reproductive freedom. Below are our most popular stigma-busting social media posts from the past month. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation!
We also shift stigma with our Abortion 101 program, which educates pro-choice advocates and allies on the specifics of abortion care services. There are two trainings coming up: one with the Doula Collective for Birth in Color RVA (aimed to educate future abortion doulas) and another with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s fellows for “Rise up for Repro” Student Advocacy Fellowship.
Inside Our Abortion Clinics
Here is a recent testimonial from a patient at Whole Woman’s Health of Austin.
“This place is honestly amazing. With the pressure many people out on you when making your choice about parenthood, this place made me feel like my decision was truly my own. I can’t thank everyone enough for how comforting and just informing they all were. Even during nervous times, one of the doctors held my hand! I’m so glad places like this exist and thankful I was able to come here in my time of need.”
Want to hear more? Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing stories from WWHA and WWHA Texas staff and physicians to keep you informed about the dire impact of SB 8. Keep an eye on your inbox!
In the News
Once WWHA joined WWH and other abortion providers, abortion funds, allies, and clergy to file the massive lawsuit against Texas’ SB 8, media inquiries came flooding in about the unprecedented nature of this law and the path we are taking to block it. We’ve also been in the news discussing our recent win in Indiana. Visit the Press Room to read, watch, and listen to these interviews.
There has been an all-out assault on abortion rights and access in 2021. According to the Guttmacher institute, states have enacted a record-breaking 97 abortion restrictions so far this year. A handful of these laws were passed in Indiana and Texas, where WWHA provides care. The state-level attacks are compounded by the U.S. Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case out of Mississippi regarding the state’s 15-week ban, which is unconstitutional according to nearly 5 decades of SCOTUS rulings, including Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Here’s a state-by-state look at how the year is unfolding.
How You Can Help
WWHA is stopping at nothing to preserve abortion access with our ambitious litigation strategy. We can’t do it without your help, so please join our efforts to BLOCK bans like SB 8 by donating now. Any amount makes a big difference – give as little as $10 or as much as $100!