REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE

RESOURCES

Compiled in Collaboration with Erie County Commission on The Status of Women.

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Reproductive Justice Resources
Articles Related to Reproductive Justice

Gender Institute Statement

Leaked Draft of the Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Roe v Wade

The University at Buffalo’s Gender Institute is outraged at the implications of the leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 case of Roe v Wade. The fact that we are writing this statement at a time of unimaginable hate and violence, when a white supremacist terrorist attacked Buffalo’s East Side, killing ten people and injuring three, reminds us of the founding principles of the Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement as stated by SisterSong, the nation’s largest multi-ethnic RJ collective: “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.”

The rights to equality, bodily autonomy, dignity, and safety are fundamental human rights that link the fight against white supremacy with the fight against legislation that criminalizes access to safe abortions. These are interconnected struggles.  If states will now have the power to force women to endure unwanted pregnancy and childbirth and all their significant risks to women’s health, which is what the state of Mississippi is arguing in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization (JWHO), then more than 36 million women of reproductive age, and more people who can become pregnant, in 26 states could lose access to abortion.
 
If the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi ban, which now looks likely, it will mark a huge step backward and the first time in our nation’s history that a constitutional right has been taken away from people, and access to safe abortion will be at risk for the entire nation. Those who will bear the greatest burden of this decision will be the poor, communities of color, immigrants, and those in rural America. This decision will be the direct result of systemic racism, ongoing white supremacy, and coercive reproductive policies in the U.S. 
 
Buffalo Defeats Operation Rescue in the 1990s
Thirty years ago, Buffalo was ground-zero of the nation’s abortion debate. The militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue convened in Buffalo for its “Spring of Life” protest in April 1992. They tried to block access to Buffalo’s six abortion-providing offices and clinics, targeting such clinicians as Dr. Bernard Slepian who was murdered at his home six years later.

Reverend Paul Schenck Challenging Pro-Choice Activist.

Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Students and community members fought courageously against Operation Rescue, escorting women inside clinics, and putting their own bodies on the line by physically defending the clinics. They formed an organization called Buffalo United for Choice (BUC). On most days, pro-choice counterdemonstrators outnumbered Operation Rescue members and BUC members coordinated efforts at the different sites using headsets and walkie talkies. Aided by a federal court order prohibiting obstructing access to the clinics, the Buffalo pro-choice demonstrators were able to do what those in Wichita, Kansas were unable to do a few months earlier, namely, prevent Operation Rescue (OR) from closing down access to the clinics. This broke the momentum of OR and showed other communities how to do it.
 
The federal court order that was so crucial to stopping Operation Rescue in Buffalo was obtained by two UB law professors—Isabel Marcus (who would become the first co-director of the UB Gender Institute) and Lucinda Finley. Their work set a legal precedent by getting an injunction restricting anti-choice protestors from blocking and obstructing clinics and from harassing patients and staff. In 1996 Professor Finley successfully defended this federal court order before the US Supreme Court, which established “buffer zones” around clinic entrances. Thanks to Professor Finley’s successful work, buffer zones were set up around many other clinics throughout the US, significantly enhancing safe access for patients and staff. 
 
Today, we need to remember this history and be inspired by it as we prepare for the work ahead of us. With the US Supreme Court now poised to permit states to ban abortion entirely, states like New York, and cities like Buffalo that are dedicated to ensuring safe access to legal abortion may once again become the target of violent anti-abortion extremists.
 
What Can You Do?
Please consider donating to the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), which is an umbrella organization for about 90 member abortion funds. https://abortionfunds.org/   
 
If you would prefer to donate directly to the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), you can support their spring efforts. https://www.nyaaf.org/ 
 
It is also important to engage in discussions about abortion, and to use the word abortion in conversation. One reason the right to an abortion is being taken away is because anti-abortion activists have been so successful in stigmatizing abortion, which results in even those who support abortion being afraid to talk about it. 
 
Make sure your legislators know that you want New York State to be a safe haven for legal abortion. Encourage the state support abortion funds and set up helping networks that will aid abortion seekers from out of state. 
 
And finally, VOTE!
[Many thanks to Gretchen Ely, Lucinda Finley, Jo Freudenheim, Melinda Lemke, David Schmid, Gwynn Thomas, and Hilary Vandenbark]

Reproductive Justice Resources

Donate to an Abortion Fund: Click Here

Donate to Planned Parenthood of Greater NewYork: 
Support a Future Where Abortion is Accessible.

Lay of the Land: Abortion Policies and Access in the United States

Guttmacher Institute's Interactive Map - where users can select any state to see details about abortion policies in place, characteristics of state residents and key abortion statistics, including driving distance to the nearest abortion clinic.

The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF)
https://abortionfunds.org/

Legal battles in other states by reproductive justice groups.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/05/16/abortion-rights-advocates-legal-playbook-roe-00032690

Delivered to your door, safe, at-home abortion pills and local resources (Based in Europe delivers to U.S., and are FDA Approved)
https://www.plancpills.org/gclid=CjwKCAjwj42UBhAAEiwACIhADsVOgXxIwSHAmFBGNHwpbK1RKvvEQEMbtj39tvVktb6ZV3i5047RqxoCdwcQAvD_BwE

Finds a clinic near you with abortion services.
https://www.ineedana.com/

Planned Parenthood learn and schedule an abortion in any state.
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/abortion

Support for University at Buffalo Students:
UB Counseling Services Student Support:  will provide support for your feelings and experiences in light of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. They offer same-day appointments which you can access by calling them at 716-645-2720. Their office is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  They also offer after-hours crisis support by calling 716-645-2720 and selecting option 2.

Articles Related to Reproductive Justice

Tracking the States where Abortion is Banned Right Now
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/us/abortion-laws-roe-v-wade.html

How to Help Women if You're Mad About Roe v. Wade
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/opinion/abortion-roe-activism-how-to-help.html

What abortion looks like in every state — right now
https://19thnews.org/2022/05/abortion-rights-restrictions-laws-in-your-state/?utm_source=The+19th&utm_campaign=0df500db42-19th-newsletters-daily-0627&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a35c3279be-0df500db42-382796225

Defending Safe Abortion Access Post-Roe v. Wade
https://the-ard.com/2022/06/24/defending-safe-abortion-access-post-roe-v-wade/

Abortion: the story of suffering and death behind Ireland’s ban and subsequent legalization
https://theconversation.com/abortion-the-story-of-suffering-and-death-behind-irelands-ban-and-subsequent-legalization-182812

Abortion funds are in the spotlight with the likelyend of Roe v. Wade – 3 findings about what they do.
https://theconversation.com/abortion-funds-are-in-the-spotlight-with-the-likely-end-of-roe-v-wade-3-findings-about-what-they-do-182636

Looming Roe Decision Increases Urgency for Scaling Up Abortion Training
https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/second-opinions/98533

NURSING CLIO: Reproductive Justice Page
https://nursingclio.org/topics/reproductive-justice/

Abortion Worldwide 2017: Uneven Progress and Unequal Access
https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-worldwide-2017

A landmark study tracks the lasting effect of having an abortion — or being denied one.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2022/05/15/1098347992/a-landmark-study-tracks-the-lasting-effect-of-having-an-abortion-or-being-denied

NPR Podcast on Birth Control and what new ruling may mean
Listen Here: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/11/1097666334/roe-birth-control

Where Abortion Access Would Decline if Roe v. Wade Were Overturned
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/18/upshot/abortion-laws-roe-wade-states.html