I know you’ve already gotten a million emailed statements of outrage and social media is a pit of fiery despair. Maybe you are in a fiery pit of despair and you need to just feel your feelings. That is justified. Come back and read this when you are ready.
For others who are ready to do something: I get that it’s not like everything else in your life disappeared and you have unlimited time to focus on this living nightmare. So today I am going to provide you with a clear-eyed, actionable blueprint on living and resisting and helping in Day 6 and beyond of Post-Roe America.
First, the Double Shift perspective:
59% of people seeking abortions already have one child. Abortion rights are mother’s rights. And I feel strongly that women who already have children need to be LOUD and PROUD advocates for reproductive freedom. Having a child has made me militantly pro-choice, without apology. We can love our children and believe in abortion on demand. We can love our current children and choose to abort others. We can love our children and never dream of having an abortion ourselves but still be willing to stand up for others to make their own choices. Any or many of these things can be true, because we contain multitudes.
Second, I’d like to disabuse anyone of the idea that this decision is bad but it won’t directly affect them. Please read this excellent piece by Rebecca Traister from May of the wide reaching impact this will have on us all, even if you live in a state where abortion is available and protected. Everyone in America needs to be prepared and activated for the impact of this ruling.
If you are feeling angry, sad, distraught, numb, frustrated, or fearful I’m right there with you. But do not feel helpless. We are not helpless, and we’re in this together. I’m sharing this extremely practical conversation with Double Shift member Catherine Gibson who’s spent years working in the reproductive justice fundraising space on things we can do right at this very moment that will make a difference. This is an edited version of the members-only talk Catherine gave Double Shifters a few weeks ago. No, we can’t solve this problem alone. But we can make an impact on our communities together in this new post-Roe world.
SAVE THE DATE: I’m very excited to share that I’ve organized a 1-hour Plan C training specifically for our Double Shift Member community. Learn all about the basics of self-managed abortion and medication abortion along with learn about resources available to those who might be considering the process. I want as many of us as possible to be educated advocates for ourselves, and our friends, neighbors, relatives.
I am organizing a Raleigh/Durham/Triangle Operation Save Abortion virtual training event open to all at a Durham Community space and I'd love it if you'd join me IRL. I also need co-organizers. RSVP/interest form here. Also looking into helping provide childcare!
MORE DETAILS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS EMAIL.
Now, here’s a condensed and edited version of our members-only conversation with Catherine Gibson that’s chalk-full of resources and ideas for how to get started or more involved in the reproductive justice movement.
Katherine Goldstein: To get started, I want to outline what reproductive justice is. The term “reproductive justice” was invented by women of color, as a response to the dominant women's rights movement that was really being led by wealthy white women. And this term was coined in 1994. SisterSong, a really wonderful organization that’s based in the south, defines reproductive justice as “everyone has the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, to have children, to not have children and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” This definition of reproductive justice encompasses so much more than access to abortion. It relates to access to healthcare, paid family leave, poverty, economic opportunity, education, and even what we're facing with respect to gun violence. All of this is deeply intertwined in terms of what it means to create “safe and sustainable communities.”
So, as we talk the specific five alarm fire of abortion access, let’s also keeping this whole reproductive justice framework in mind, I think that’s really important. Our Double Shift episode, Pro-Mother, Pro-Abortion is also still a highly relevant listen.
So, Other Catherine, Tell us a bit about how you got into this work?
Catherine Gibson: I come to this work as an advocate and as someone who, until recently, was enmeshed in the reproductive justice movement on the nonprofit side. I was not and am not a content expert, but as a fundraiser, I needed to make the case to lots of folks that funding reproductive justice advocacy was worthwhile.
I am also led by those women of color that created and sustain this movement, with a particular shout out to SisterSong, who identified “reproductive justice” as a necessary intersectional framework to provide reproductive care and abortion access to all pregnant people (including trans folks and others that do not identify as cis women), particularly those most impacted by our completely unjust systems of oppression that show up in ways big and small each and every day.
Katherine Goldstein: So people who are new to reproductive justice work and have been recently activated and want to get involved for the first time – can you share some overview thoughts on how to get involved, with race and class awareness?
Catherine Gibson: One thing to remember is that Roe was supposed to be a floor, not the ceiling. It was supposed to be universal right, but that actual access to reproductive and particularly abortion care, has always been harder for pregnant people of color, without financial resources, etc. What’s happening right now is just adding barriers to access, especially when you look at the split in the states that will allow for abortion care in their states and those that have trigger laws will make it so that half of the states will refuse to provide this basic reproductive care.
The most important thing to remember [for those who are reading this who are white ladies] is that we need to show up in a way that will center those most impacted and to trust black women to lead the way. That means listening to the movement when leaders tell us that we need to fund abortions. More than escorting, more than rallies, more than anything else: use your dollars to fund abortion access. [Ed note: This also means bolstering existing abortion efforts, not starting new ones. -KG]
KG: I love the directness of this. Listen to the leaders of the movement, listen to Black women. There are tons of great organizations to give money to. If people have limited resources, what are the best ways to figure out where and how to give?
CG: As a fundraiser and a champion of philanthropy, I often tell my friends and family, and frankly, anyone who will listen to me, that you should think about the impact your dollar can make.
Unless one of you is secretly Mackenzie Scott, your dollar goes farther where your dollar has the most power to make change. Unless you’re giving a shitload of money away, you should always be thinking local, like a food bank or mutual aid. And when it comes to abortion access, there are PLENTY of locally focused orgs where your dollars will do a whole lot of good.
Remember that funds that go to an org where it has become illegal to perform abortions can still fund those seeking abortions to go elsewhere. Particularly in Texas, we’ve seen folks go to Oklahoma, but now they’ll head to Nevada, etc.
Here are some great places to start:
- https://abortionfunds.org/funds/ (national network that will connect you to your local fund)
- https://brigidalliance.org/ (practical support, like funding travel and other non-procedure related expenses)
- https://abortioncarenetwork.org/ (independent clinics, who provide most abortion services)
And someone who lives in Washington, DC, my current plans are to give to this new clinic opening in MD, while continuing to give to my local abortion fund.
(Ed Note: I give to Carolina Abortion Fund, which covers North and South Carolina. It also has a great newsletter that keeps me up to date on fundraisers and other activities to get involved with in my area. -KG)
KG: Some people may not be able to give money and would like to be involved in other volunteer efforts. What are some ways to think about that?
CG: Many independent clinics need volunteers to drive folks to appointments, to host (though I’m not 100% sure all of this stuff is back in person), or to escort.
- Check here to see if you have a provider nearby: https://abortioncarenetwork.org/abortion-care-providers/
- Many abortion funds have hotlines that need to be staffed by volunteers, so you could do hotline work (sometimes they also have affiliated practical support networks that they can connect you to)
- Become an expert in medication abortion: https://www.plancpills.org/ambassadors
- SAY THE WORD ABORTION and talk about it with your people! (Here’s a resource for having these sometimes hard conversations.)
KG: I think it’s really important for us to talk about abortion. Talk about it with our friends, our relatives who might not share our opinions. We can’t be shy about articulating why this is important and what’s at stake. Make sure people understand that this isn’t abstract. Talk about your own experience or experiences of friends.
So Catherine, What are the actionable takeaways you’d like everyone to walk away with?
CG: Give to abortion funds. Give now, give later, give often. Tell anyone you can to do the same. The inequity of abortion access has been around for, you know, forever, but fundamentally it’s a capitalism/money problem. If we can move money around so that the people who need it can have it to take care of their bodies, we are heading in a more just direction. We simply must give a shit about one another and in this fractured time, this is the best way I know how.
KG: Also, we can also bring a spirit of joy and fun into our good causes and fundraising. Instead of just making a personal donation, consider hosting a fundraiser... get your friends together in your backyard or at a bar and ask for donations to attend. Fundraisers don’t have to be elaborate black-tie galas. If you can organize a child’s birthday party, you can organize a fundraiser, I promise.
Additional notes and resources:
Abortion is now going to be a big workplace issue: I’m no fan of our basic human rights and healthcare being left up to corporations, but Erika Seth Davies, CEO of Rhia Ventures sums it up well. “Because so much of coverage in this country comes from employers, corporate responsibility is now the backstop in terms of access to abortion care.” Read this comprehensive and excellent newsletter from Charter about what the end of Roe means for companies. One of my biggest takeaways was that just the act of asking your company how they are planning to respond to this in terms of covering reproductive healthcare costs, travel or relocation can set in motion some very important internal convos. But in many places this might ONLY happen if employees are asking. Charter is the company co-founded by Erin Grau, who will be joining us for an open-to-all virtual event, “Workplace Revolution” on July 20th at 3pm EST. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be asking her about this!! RSVP here.
A great read: This NYTimes guest essay from Robin Marty, who wrote the book, The New Handbook for Post-Roe America is full of ideas and resources for how “we have a chance to stave off at least some of the worst outcomes of a post-Roe America.”
JOIN ME FOR PLAN C!
I’m thrilled to share I’ve set up a 1 hour training session open to all Double Shift members on AUGUST 10th at 12:30 EST Let’s become well-informed, engaged advocates and resources of our community TOGETHER.
The Plan C SMA 101 Workshop is an interactive introduction to self-managed abortion with mailed abortion pills. This workshop goes over the basics of self-managed abortion and medication abortion as well as discusses the resources available to those who might be considering the process. Participants will leave this workshop with a basic understanding of 1) what abortion pills are and a general understanding of what mifepristone and misoprostol do; 2) how to find mailed abortion pill options in their state using the Plan C Guide to Pills, 3) resources to aid in making their decision-making and implementation processes, more informed and 4) information on how to get more involved in advocating for increased access to mailed abortion pills through Plan C. This workshop is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about this medically-safe and effective at-home abortion option and is geared toward individuals who want to be more informed for their own SMA experience as well as those who want to be more informed in supporting others with their SMA experience.
Everyone who wants to participate has to register in advance. To get the deets, become a member.
Operation Save Abortion: On Sunday July 17th 11am EST/ 8AM PST
Co-sponsored by an all-star list of repo rights orgs, this looks like a great event virtual event, inviting us to host house parties: "Stock the fridge, gather your friends because you’re gonna throw an activist house party! You provide the snacks and OPERATION SAVE ABORTION will provide EVERYTHING ELSE you need to get your activist on!
Here’s the deal: Sunday, July 17th, the coolest abortion activists and experts from around the country are gathering for a supercharged all-day training experience that will be livestreamed into YOUR living room, to guide you and your posse toward all the different ways you can join this fight. RSVP Here."
I am organizing a Raleigh/Durham/Triangle Operation Save Abortion virtual training event open to all at a Durham community location and I'd love it if you'd join me IRL. I also need co-organizers. RSVP/interest form here. Also looking into helping provide childcare!
And a few other non-Roe things to cheer you up:
A much deserved celebration: Wednesday June 29 8pm-9:15pm EST (TONIGHT) Run by Triangle-based River Flow Collective Healing, they are hosting “a special edition FREE support group for pandemic parents of littles to celebrate and process that VACCINES ARE FINALLY HERE Y'ALL. There may be a lot of mixed emotions given the long wait and feeling our littles have not been prioritized. We're here for all of it!! Donations welcome, all donations will go to Moms Demand Action.” For more info and to register: 6/29 FREE Circle of Support: Vaccines are Here - What a Journey!
For Fun: I recently purchased a Fun Mom Band Mom’s Fanny bag, and it is TRULY the world’s perfect fanny pack. It fits a ton of stuff, is well made with adjustable straps, and you can even get one that comes with a lil flask and a pill case. I love supporting this mom-run small business based in Durham, NC with a bag that’s also manufactured locally. Plus, I love the mission: “Fun Mom Band was born out of pandemic parenting struggles with the mission to make moms feel seen.” I can get down with that!
Finally: Your Double Shift Member Questions, Answered!
Thank you so much to all of our new newsletter subscribers and members!! I have gotten questions from people if our relaunched membership program is the same as our membership program from when the podcast is running. Same thing, but different/more great benefits! If you are reading this, you are a non-paying newsletter subscriber. You may have been a member at some point, but credit cards expire etc and your paid membership is no longer active, so you aren’t getting the new benefits like audio newsletters, members-only threads and virtual and IRL hangouts. If you want back in or to join for the first time, click below.
If you are logged in on the website, you can change your plan by hitting the “account” button on the top right and changing your membership to paid, here.
JOIN IN: I am IN LOVE with our new member threads and getting you all to share your thoughtful comments and insights. Last week’s thread on if you are considering leaving the US was full of diverse and nuanced opinions, respectfully expressed. Swoon!! My dreams are coming true!!! If you want in on these members-only threads, become a member. It starts at $7/mo. If that’s not in your budget, but you want in, let me know and I’ll hook you up, no questions asked. I’ve joyfully given away several memberships in the last week, so if you want to join and have the means to pay $14 or $30 a month, that helps cover the cost of the donated memberships.
Tomorrow’s thread will be about an open space to process our feelings about the end of Roe. Because that’s what this community is for. Members will get the prompt in their inbox Thursday at noon EST.