Are you feeling confused and exhausted about the yo-yo of abortion rights in the courts? You’re not alone. Texas Senate Bill 8 was designed to be a legal nightmare, and the two major lawsuits challenging it are proof. While we are continuing our fight in the courts (more on that in our Texas update below!), we want you to know that the resolve and morale of our Texas staff have not wavered. As an independent abortion provider, our operations are nimble and clinic staff belong to the communities they serve. But we face an unprecedented strain in the wake of abortion restrictions, many of which providers aren’t able to overcome. Over the last six years, nearly a third of all independent clinics in the US have closed their doors. The longer SB 8 is allowed to remain in effect, the more clinics will disappear. Threats to independent clinics are a threat to abortion access everywhere. Stand with us by making a donation today.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, President & CEO
Jesse Torrey, Managing Director
Abortion is Our Work
Abortion rights are on the ballot in Virginia this November with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and the House of Delegates all up for election. Over 800 Virginians rallied with their support for abortion access on October 2nd in Richmond, where Steph, our VA Advocacy Director, spoke to the crowd. If you are a Virginian, it’s more important than ever that you do your research and get out to vote on November 2nd.
The Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (VREA) is planning virtual and in-person Advocacy Days of Action leading up to the start of the next legislative session on January 12, 2022. There will be advocacy pop-ups taking place in Hampton Roads and Northern VA in November, two more pop-ups in December, and a virtual day of action on November 21st. Save the date and stay tuned for more info!
It’s been 49 days since Senate Bill 8 went into effect, effectively banning abortion in Texas. We had two days of reprieve in early October, when a federal judge (in response to the major lawsuit from the DOJ) issued an order blocking SB 8. The Fifth Circuit overturned the injunction and reinstated the law just 48 hours later. The DOJ is now asking the Supreme Court for an injunction to block the law and to agree to hear oral arguments this term to decide whether the law is constitutional. In the other major lawsuit, of which WWHA and WWH are co-plaintiffs, a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment was filed with the Supreme Court in late September, asking them to hear the appeal on an expedited basis. Texas has been ordered to respond to the cert petition by this Thursday.
On September 29th, WWHA joined the Trust Respect Access (TRA) coalition in Washington, DC to demand federal intervention to protect abortion access. This included members of the coalition testifying in front of House Committee on Oversight and Reform, a press conference with members of the House, meetings with White House officials and members of Congress, a Bans Off Our Bodies performance protest in front of the Supreme Court, and participating in DC’s Rally for Abortion Justice on October 2nd.
On September 24th, Minnesota legislators announced the creation of a new Reproductive Freedom Caucus. A rapidly growing group of more than 50 legislators have come together to work to ensure Minnesotans have full access to abortion care, a right that is protected by the Minnesota Constitution. Many of these lawmakers stopped by to meet WWHA staff at the Minnesota Rally for Abortion Justice on October 2nd.
WWHA was present at the Open Streets Minneapolis event on October 10th. We gave away multiple cases of free Plan B, postcards about WWH’s Minnesota virtual care services, signed up new supporters, and connected with everyone from teachers to faith leaders to social workers to community folks – all eager to support our work!
WWHA supporters participated in the South Bend Rally for Reproductive Justice, joining hundreds of other rallies and marches across the country to oppose abortion restrictions. Longtime supporters and volunteers, along with representatives of many social justice organizations, helped organize the event and spoke to the crowd of nearly 200 people.
Getting an abortion in Indiana is difficult. That’s why we must work closely with other abortion providers and allies to break down barriers and reach the people who need us most. One of those trusted partners and co-plaintiffs in our Indiana litigation is All-Options. All-Options supports Hoosiers across all of their pregnancy and parenting needs by providing free pregnancy tests, peer counseling, materials support like diapers and baby clothes, abortion funding, and other referrals and resources. Learn more about All-Options.
Shifting Abortion Stigma
WWHA is committed to fostering open and honest conversations, lifting up all communities, and advocating for reproductive freedom. Here are some recent stigma-busting social media posts. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation!
Inside Our Abortion Clinics
Here is a recent testimonial from a patient at Whole Woman’s Health of Austin.
“The staff here was very friendly and knowledgeable. And under the most difficult circumstances of my life, I was extremely put at ease by the doctor and aftercare staff. The office staff made it very easy and simple for me to get financial assistance. Definitely worth the drive. I feel very appreciative and lucky to have found Whole Woman’s Health of Austin. I will hold a special place in my heart for them forever.”
Want to hear more? Keep an eye on your inbox for stories from WWHA and WWH staff and physicians.
In the News
One of our biggest goals at WWHA is to shift the conversation around abortion by lifting the voices of those impacted by restrictions and shining a spotlight on the humanity of the abortion providers. To that end, we have an open door to the media and during SB 8, the attention has been intense.
WWHA leadership, Board, staff and doctors have been busy spreading awareness about the cruel, radical implications of SB 8. Since SB 8 went into effect on September 1st, we have participated in over 140 one-on-one interviews and 2 nationwide press calls. We’ve also hosted major news outlets in clinic to give the world a glimpse of the reality of abortion care in Texas under SB 8. Make sure you watch this PBS NewsHour exposé featuring WWH of Austin.
What’s more, we have provided bold thought leadership in high-profile op-eds. Amy Hagstrom Miller contributed an op-ed to the LA Times and WWH’s Marva Sadler shared her experience of the hours before SB 8 took effect with USA Today. An abortion provider for WWH of McAllen also contributed an eye-opening piece to the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
How You Can Help
Your donations are needed now more than ever as we take on the biggest attacks on abortion rights we’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for non-monetary ways to help, here are some suggestions:
- Talk about abortion. Abortion remains stigmatized in much of our culture and part of our mission at WWHA is to shift the narrative. Do your part by affirming that abortion is normal, is healthcare and is a social good that helps people, families and communities thrive. Have conversations, write letters to the editor, and be public about your support for reproductive freedom!
- Call your Senators and ask them to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA).
- Support and Volunteer for your local Abortion Fund.
- Learn about Independent Abortion Clinics and support those in your community. Send cards of appreciation and support to clinic staff, and ask about opportunities to volunteer to be an escort.
- Vote for pro-choice candidates.