Advocating for reproductive rights and abortion access has been and will continue to be a pillar of grassroots organizing across the Alliance Network.
Since the Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional protection of abortion rights set by Roe v. Wade and gave the authority to decide abortion rights to individual states in June 2022, many attacks on reproductive freedom have been introduced to heavily restrict or completely ban abortion access. And now, as we currently await a decision from a Trump-appointed federal judge on access to the abortion pill mifepristone, we’re amplifying how youth organizers in the Alliance Network are fighting to protect reproductive freedoms in their communities.
Reproductive Rights Organizing at the Local Level
New Era Colorado
New Era is unapologetically pro-abortion. With Colorado’s legislative session underway, say hello to The Brazen Project, New Era’s reproductive rights program. The Brazen Project is here to smash the stigma around abortions on college campuses across Colorado. Ending the stigma starts with talking about abortion care boldly and without shame, so New Era organizers create safe spaces to facilitate and continue conversations about abortion with young people on college campuses and through educational events.
This year, New Era is focusing on engaging its base of young people and campus leaders to regulate the deceptive practices of anti-abortion centers that lurk near college campuses throughout the state. Anti-abortion centers, also known as “fake clinics,” “crisis pregnancy centers,” and “anti-abortion counseling centers,” are anti-abortion nonprofits that present themselves as licensed family planning and/or reproductive healthcare clinics, but in reality, these centers exist to dissuade pregnant people from seeking an abortion. They use deceptive advertising to get those looking for abortion services in the door, then proceed to provide patients with biased counseling and inaccurate, unfounded information about abortion and contraception to delay and make it even more difficult to schedule an abortion.
Don’t let them fool you: anti-abortion centers don’t give Coloradans the reproductive care they need. Read more about New Era Colorado’s work through The Brazen project from policy manager Arianna Morales here.
New Hampshire Youth Movement
Youth organizers with New Hampshire Youth Movement (NHYM) are playing offense and defense this legislative session, working to pass bills and an amendment that guarantees abortion access in New Hampshire while actively pushing back on bills that would restrict abortion access.
Everyone deserves the right to individual bodily autonomy and liberty, CACR 2 will protect that right. This is a constitutional amendment and, if passed, it would amend the New Hampshire state constitution to protect the right to bodily autonomy. There are currently no policies guaranteeing the right to abortion and other reproductive healthcare in New Hampshire, so on the heels of the Supreme Court overturning the protections provided by Roe v. Wade, this is a huge deal for their community.
Another bill NHYM is supporting is HB 88. This is a bill that would make it so that the state of New Hampshire cannot restrict abortion further than it already has. HB 88 won’t overturn the 24-week abortion ban in the state, but it would prohibit the state from further interfering with an individual’s right to abortion care.
Lastly, NHYM is supporting HB 224, a bill that would eliminate the criminal and civil penalties that are currently part of the 24-week abortion ban. This is a bipartisan bill, giving it a higher chance of passing.
NHYM is also opposing several bills being introduced in the state legislature. HB 562 would require a provider to receive “informed consent” from an individual seeking an abortion. This is just a roundabout way of enforcing intimidation and scare tactics to push people away from getting abortions. It would mandate false information about medical abortion and impose a 24 hour waiting period. These scare tactics and waiting periods are used as methods to urge people away from abortion care. HB 591, the second bill NHYM is opposing, would ban abortion at the detection of a fetal heartbeat. This bill would essentially impose a six- week abortion ban.
2023 is also a budget year for New Hampshire, so NHYM organizers are also advocating for a progressive state budget after an abortion ban was passed through last year’s state budget process.
For more on New Hampshire Youth Movement’s advocacy in their legislative session, check out their Weekly Bill Cheat Sheet, where you can find more information and sign in links for all of the abortion bills above.
After successfully mobilizing Kansas voters to ‘vote neigh’ on a state constitution amendment that would have fundamentally restricted abortion access in the state, youth organizers with Loud Light are gearing up for more attacks on reproductive rights in the state’s legislative session. Stay up-to-date on Loud Light’s legislative session work with their weekly video recap series!
This year, Next Up is organizing with the Fair Shot for All coalition, a group championing an agenda that prioritizes racial, gender, and economic justice during the 2023 Oregon State Legislative Session. The coalition is currently collecting signatures and stories to support reproductive & gender justice for all. You can read more about the coalition’s 2023 agenda, sign the petition, and submit your stories here.
ICYMI: 3 Ways to Protect Abortion Access (and more!)
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the protections set by Roe v. Wade threatens the lives of millions who will seek an abortion, especially Black, Indigenous, people of color, and people working to make ends meet. Here’s how we can keep fighting back:
- Call your senator and demand they take action to protect abortion access
- Support abortion funds and reproductive justice orgs
- Support Alliance Network orgs doing reproductive justice work
After the Supreme Court decision last year, we highlighted stories from the network about how the threat to abortion rights could mobilize young voters and explained how abortion access impacts mental health.
Together, we can continue to put pressure on our elected officials to side with the majority of Americans who believe that abortion access is a human right. We won’t stop until every person, regardless of race, class, or zip code, is guaranteed that right. Let us not forget that young people will continue to be an influential voting bloc at the ballot box in 2024 and beyond. Call your senator, support youth organizers, and donate to abortion funds. This fight is far from over, but we are stronger together. Let’s keep fighting back.