NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, August 20th, 2022

Netroots Nation 2022 — Day 3 — Featured Panel: Post-Roe Does Not Mean Post-Abortion

“Every move­ment can be tracked back to the impor­tance of abor­tion access,” said Lizz Win­stead of the Abor­tion Access Front. This was the cen­tral theme of Sat­ur­day morn­ing’s Net­roots Nation pan­el titled: Post-Roe Doesn’t Mean Post Abortion…If You Step Up. This pan­el also includ­ed Cece Caru­so from Plan C Pills, Tara Murtha from the Women’s Law Project, Lara Chilean from North­land Fam­i­ly Plan­ning, and Kristin Hady from Abor­tion Access Front.

Tara Murtha addressed this issue as well, not­ing that abor­tion access has been strate­gi­cal­ly iso­lat­ed on all sides: the pro­ce­dure being iso­lat­ed from hos­pi­tals, the move­ment stig­ma­tized in the broad­er pro­gres­sive move­ment, and racism with­in the repro­duc­tive free­dom move­ment per­pet­u­at­ing this iso­la­tion. Murtha cit­ed mass incar­cer­a­tion and LGBTQIA+ rights as two addi­tion­al areas that clear­ly lead one back to the need for abor­tion jus­tice.

For these rea­sons, pro­gres­sives need to have very open con­ver­sa­tions about abor­tion. Lizz Win­stead said that if you can­not say abor­tion, if you can­not talk about abor­tion, the peo­ple in your com­mu­ni­ty who have had them will not trust you with their sto­ry. She notes that if you do not know many peo­ple who have had abor­tions, this could eas­i­ly be the issue.

Murtha also talked about the need to call out pro­gres­sive rep­re­sen­ta­tives and can­di­dates who oppose abor­tion but avoid tak­ing a posi­tion. Peo­ple need to know where their law­mak­ers stand, mak­ing it very impor­tant to pub­li­cize abor­tion stances or the refusal to offer one. Murtha tasked advo­cates to “…make life hard for your local politi­cian.” This means mak­ing phone calls and vis­it­ing gov­ern­ment offices to demand meet­ings and demand the space to share your sto­ry before state leg­is­la­tures.

Cece Caru­so point­ed out the active nature this kind of advo­ca­cy demands: “It’s always ‘vot­ing and’ not ‘vot­ing just.’” Vot­ing just rhetoric tends to be per­pet­u­at­ed by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, which Caru­so believes to be extreme­ly prob­lem­at­ic. Their call to action in response to this is to per­sis­tent­ly “agi­tate” both con­ser­v­a­tives and pro­gres­sives to “…remem­ber who they rep­re­sent and who they work for.”

Caruso’s work at Plan C Pills includes pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion and resources for self-man­aged abor­tions, a par­tic­u­lar­ly con­tro­ver­sial form of abor­tion access. They addressed the need to be care­ful about this option’s legal­i­ty and risk, but also pur­sue it as a viable option for peo­ple in abor­tion care desserts with­out the abil­i­ty to trav­el. As areas where abor­tion care is inac­ces­si­ble grows, the group of peo­ple this ser­vice can ben­e­fit increase.

A siz­able por­tion of this pan­el focused on what the peo­ple can do now to help abor­tion providers and sup­port the move­ment. All pan­elists gen­er­al­ly agreed on the ben­e­fit of ask­ing cur­rent­ly exist­ing providers which areas they need the most help in. Lara Chilean encour­aged advo­cates to avoid self-start­ing move­ments with­out con­sult­ing abor­tion providers in the area — for exam­ple, counter-protest­ing out­side of clin­ics with­out ask­ing first. She said that this is often harm­ful and has the poten­tial to cre­ate a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion for peo­ple seek­ing care.

Win­stead added to this by also dis­cour­ag­ing sup­port­ing “Aun­tie Net­works,” which most often include inde­pen­dent forums where peo­ple offer their homes to peo­ple cross­ing state lines to seek legal abor­tions. She point­ed out the prob­lem­at­ic nature of these net­works as they are like­ly to vio­late the right to pri­va­cy when seek­ing abor­tion access. Peo­ple should not be forced to be a “good guest” in order to receive an abor­tion. Instead, Win­stead sug­gest­ed donat­ing to an exist­ing provider that finan­cial­ly assists with trav­el and hotels.

Cece Caru­so con­clud­ed the pan­el with three help­ful resources to spread in com­mu­ni­ties that are list­ed below. The Repro Legal Helpline pro­vides sup­port to those who are seek­ing legal infor­ma­tion and guid­ance con­cern­ing state abor­tion laws. This resource con­nects those seek­ing abor­tion with legal advo­cates and resources. The sec­ond resource, Plan C’s Guide to Pills, pro­vides exten­sive infor­ma­tion on self-man­aged abor­tion and also includes a loca­tor for clin­ics that offer this ser­vice. Final­ly, the Mis­car­riage and Abor­tion Hot­line is run by abor­tion clin­i­cians seek­ing to give advice to those self-man­ag­ing mis­car­riages and abor­tions.

Repro Legal Helpline: 844–868-2812
Plan C’s Guide to Pills
The Mis­car­riage and Abor­tion Hot­line: 1–833-246‑2632

Adjacent posts

  • Enjoyed what you just read? Make a donation

    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local politics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you and trust­ed spon­sors. We don’t run ads or pub­lish con­tent in exchange for money.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able to all by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy journalism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time donation

  • NPI’s essential research and advocacy is sponsored by: