It's 2020, and women's reproductive health care remains under attack. During the 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC), anti-choice activists proclaimed (opens in new tab) that President Donald Trump is the "most pro-life president we've ever had," and the president himself has previously suggested (opens in new tab) that Roe v. Wade (opens in new tab), the Supreme Court decision that gives women the right to choose to have an abortion, could be overturned during his presidency. Most recently, President Trump released a short list (opens in new tab) of conservatives that he promises to nominate to the Supreme Court should he win reelection in November—a further attempt to control women's bodies.
That's why groups like Power to Decide (opens in new tab), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to "ensure that all people—no matter who they are, where they live, or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant and have a child," are stepping in to provide women with the information they need. Today, with the help of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (opens in new tab) (PPFA), the National Abortion Federation (opens in new tab) (NAF), and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (opens in new tab) (ANSIRH), Power to Decide launched a digital abortion finder tool that will enable women to safely and easily locate abortion service providers in their area.
"This is a critical tool for a critical moment that we're in to make sure that people, no matter who they are, where they live, and what their economic circumstance is, have access to reproductive health services," Gillian Sealy, CEO of Power to Decide, tells Marie Claire. "Our commitment is to make sure that [the abortion finder tool] is constantly updated and that we are providing the information that is needed so that people can access abortion services. Abortion is part of health care and should be treated as such."
Power to Decide's abortion finder tool, which can be accessed on AbortionFinder.org (opens in new tab), features more than 750 verified abortion service clinics across the country and includes a list of state laws that might limit a person's access to abortion care. It can also be found on Bedsider.org (opens in new tab), a project of Power to Decide, which aims to keep people informed about their reproductive health. Power to Decide hopes the tool will provide more accessible information to everyone—especially Black and brown people who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (opens in new tab) and continuously face barriers to accessing the reproductive health care they need.
"Under the guise of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, there were many pushes by states to use the pandemic as an excuse to ban abortion by deeming it a non-essential procedure," explains Sealy, referring to states like Texas (opens in new tab), Oklahoma (opens in new tab), Tennessee (opens in new tab), Ohio (opens in new tab), Louisiana (opens in new tab), and Arkansas (opens in new tab). "Abortion care is time-sensitive. We want to make sure that people are able to see their health care provider."
The Trump administration recently filed an emergency petition (opens in new tab) asking the Supreme Court to reinstate a restriction requiring patients seeking an early abortion pill to make a trip to their clinician's office—rather than receiving it by mail—and risk viral exposure. Once again, this affects people of color the most (opens in new tab). As the fight for reproductive rights continues, Sealy advises people to pay close attention to their state's laws, and remember that no matter what misinformation is being spread, abortion remains legal in the United States.
Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.
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