Reproductive oppression will end when individuals and communities are equipped with the power to effectively control their reproductive destinies. Educate! Volunteer! Take Action!
Reproductive oppression will end when individuals and communities are equipped with the power to effectively control their reproductive destinies. Educate! Volunteer! Take Action!
Want to talk to someone about your pregnancy options? Need help paying for your abortion? Want to talk about your abortion experience with someone who understands? Looking for unbiased information and resources on abortion, adoption, and parenting? We are here to help.
Individuals like you are essential to our success. Because we provide unbiased pregnancy options and information, we do not receive any government or large institutional funding. We rely on the generous support of a handful of committed foundations and dedicated individuals like you to support our one-of-a-kind programs.
A couple months ago we held another series of what are becoming regular Reproductive Justice Volunteer Trainings at Pro-Choice Resources. These trainings are designed for us as a community to work together in unpacking the intersections of social justice and reproductive rights which represent what reproductive justice centers around. This time we added an additional training for the cast of the local Rocky Horror Picture Show, who we were excited to share space with since they are very used to challenging normative ideas of gender and sexuality.
We were also joined by Bri Lopez Donovan, a talented writer and contributor to Twin Cities Geek. Bri has written an excellent piece about her experience at this training, and she also began the pioneering work of outlining the intersections of geek culture and reproductive justice. Check out Bri’s article here and gain some insight into geek culture, into reproductive justice, and into PCR’s Reproductive Justice Volunteer Trainings.
On Wednesday evening Pro-Choice Resources and Whole Woman’s Health (with support from our MN Choice Coalition Partners, Abortion Care Network, Preterm Abortion Clinic, and My Life My Abortion) honored the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade with an event called Breaking Our Silence MN.
Community members came together and read stories of people who have accessed abortion care (donated by Preterm Clinic), and some community members shared their own stories. These stories challenge the current narrative around abortion and push back against stigma, silence, and shame.
The one theme that surfaced throughout the stories was that the person accessing abortion care made the decision that was best for themselves and their family.
We know the power of storytelling and as we recognize the 43rd anniversary of the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade, we also recognize that our current landscape is more challenging than ever. Since 2011, state legislators have passed 288 laws that restrict abortion access. We are also now in our 40th year of the Hyde Amendment, one of the most blatantly discriminatory amendments ever passed.
The Hyde Amendment, first attached as a “rider” in 1976, banned the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortion unless the pregnancy arises from incest, rape, or to save the life of the mother. In particular, this bars people receiving federal Medicaid from using that form of insurance to access abortion care. Abortion is the only medical procedure that has ever been banned from Medicaid. The reason why the Hyde Amendment is discriminatory is due to its disproportionate impact on immigrant women and women of color who are more likely to live in poverty and to rely on Medicaid for their health care. Here’s what Representative Henry Hyde, author of the Hyde Amendment had to say, “I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion: a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman…Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the [Medicaid] bill.”
So year after year the Hyde Amendment, and now these new restrictions and bans, have placed families in peril. Low-income families have to sell their belongings, put less food on the table and risk eviction as they use their rent money to pay for abortion care, a medical procedure which should be covered by insurance just like any other medical procedure. And we also know that many of these families never manage to get the money they need to pay for abortion care – which means that they are forced to carry the pregnancy to term.
For those of us that work, advocate and volunteer in this field we know all too well of the difficulties and erroneous barriers that women, girls and transgender people who can get pregnant face everyday.
This year in March the United States Supreme Court will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a case regarding the deceptive Texas law HB2 which is designed to shut down more than 75 percent of all health clinics that provide abortion services in the state. HB2 would accomplish its goal of shutting down clinics by imposing these two restrictions:
These requirements unfairly single out abortion care providers and do not apply to other, comparable medical procedures or practices.
Leading medical experts and organizations strongly oppose these medically unnecessary requirements on reproductive health care services. The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other leading health care experts are united in opposing these burdensome regulations, arguing that they serve no medical purpose, interfere in the doctor/patient relationship, and do nothing to promote reproductive health.
The Supreme Court’s decision on this historic case will have far reaching ramifications. We have seen similar bills introduced in Minnesota, but the MN Choice Coalition partners have been able to defeat them. However, this case could impact our ability to successfully defend access to abortion care in the future.
Wow – a lot of depressing news…. But remember our movement is strong and bold and compassionate and we will not be intimidated. This past July partners in the All* Above All Campaign, a national campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment, introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Act (EACH Woman Act), a groundbreaking piece of legislation for Reproductive Justice. The EACH Woman Act:
The partners in the MN Choice Coalition and many of our community partners and allies have signed onto this groundbreaking legislation. Here’s what we know to be true, we can’t do this work without you and it’s important that the policy makers who represent you hear from you. We encourage you to use the hashtag #ReclaimRoe on social media, and to let the people in our state know that we care about upholding Roe v. Wade, keeping abortion care legal, and making abortion care accessible to all who need it. But more importantly, let them know that we care about the thousands of women, girls and transgender people who can get pregnant whose human right it is to access abortion care.
In Peace and Justice,
*statistics and quotes from the Center for Reproductive Rights, National Network of Abortion Funds, and All* Above All.
The end of the year is a time of reflection, and as we reflect over the year at Pro-Choice Resources we are filled with appreciation and resolve. We are very grateful for your support of PCR and the thousands of people in our community that we work with and provide assistance to. We are resolved to lift up your, our, and every other member of this amazing community’s voice to ensure that our stories, informed by our lived experiences, direct the conversation on reproductive health care. We do so knowing the voices of those who promote a rhetoric of anger, intolerance, and hatred cannot be allowed to control the destiny of reproductive rights in this country.
Your support is greatly appreciated. Without you, there would literally be over 7,400 women, girls, and transgender people in Minnesota and the surrounding Midwest with nowhere else to turn. You have given them the gift of being able to make the sexual and reproductive health care decisions that are best for them. As we move forward, we can ensure our common goal of making Reproductive Justice a reality for all. Your support continues and expands EMERGE, our after abortion care support group, strengthens our Reproductive Justice grassroots advocacy program, and of course allows us to say yes to more people who call our line for abortion care funding.
We ask you to join us in continuing this work by reaching out to others in your community. Should you or someone you know be making year-end decisions for charitable contributions, we hope you will think of PCR and make your tax deductible gift before or on December 31. Please consider extending your support, lifting up our community, and joining the majority of people who believe in a person’s right to make personal health care decisions. We need to take back the narrative from those who threaten our essential human rights.
For close to half a century, PCR has been committed to ensuring that we amplify the voices of the people we serve, because these voices must not be silenced and must resonate across our state and nation. We will be in touch regularly throughout the coming year, and look forward to hearing from you in return.
Wishing you well,
Complicity: the act of helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way.
While only one man stormed the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday, November 27th, he had accomplices. Emboldened by aggressive rhetoric used following the release earlier this year of distorted videos of Planned Parenthood employees, he walked into the clinic on the shoulders of the anti-abortion supporters who believe their voice should supersede the voice and choice of all the people who seek abortion care as the best decision for themselves and their families. His bullets were supplied by the politicians and leaders who refuse to take responsibility for the actions their words incite. He pulled the trigger in tandem with those who believe that abortion access and care should be stopped by any means necessary.
This culture of physical, mental, and lingual violence must stop. We must speak up and speak out in our communities. Women and transgender people who can get pregnant shouldn’t have to wonder if accessing reproductive health care will get them killed. Abortion care providers, doctors, staff and clinics should be able to provide critical abortion care services without the threat of violence and the risk of death.
The shooter did tragically end the lives of Ke’Arre Stewart, Jennifer Markovsky, and Officer Garrett Swasey. The shooter did not stop amazing and resilient abortion care providers and abortion clinic staff from providing their services across this country. The shooter did not stop abortion assistance funds, Reproductive Justice organizations, reproductive rights organizations, and All-Options Family Planning providers from showing up this week even more determined to ensure that abortion stays safe, legal, and accessible.
At PCR we will not let one man nor those who were complicit in this tragedy, nor any of the forces of Reproductive Oppression close our doors. We all remain OPEN for business and make sure that the people who call us everyday to access financial support for abortion care get it. We will continue to facilitate Emerge, our secular after abortion support group, and we will continue to advocate for the right of people to have children, not have children, and to raise children in a healthy and safe environment.
In Peace and Solidarity
The Staff at PCR
On Thursday, March 26, more than 300 people converged on Park Tavern in St. Louis Park to bowl and celebrate a community that stands for reproductive justice. The Pro-Choice Resources Bowl-a-Thon isn’t just an event to raise money to support PCR’s work – though it certainly is that, as the 1,800+ donorswho helped us raise $90,000 will attest.
It’s also a chance for a pep rally. A chance to find yourself in a building filled with people who go beyond supporting the right to choose. They support the breadth of reproductive justice issues – wage equality, violence prevention, health care access and more. And they’re an active part of PCR’s work to find solutions and eliminate reproductive oppression in our region and across the nation.
Coming at the beginning of the year and in the midst of a legislative session, the Bowl-a-Thon is the perfect opportunity for community members to recharge and kick off a year of making inroads and improvements in their communities. After weeks spent talking to friends, families, neighbors and everyone else within reach about the importance of reproductive justice and PCR’s work, bowlers get to come together and be reminded that they’re part of something bigger. It’s a chance to remember that, despite the protesters, TRAP bills, and other frustrations, there is a movement at work here that is large, vocal and, frankly, fun.
Now this league of advocates will take the energy of more than 2,000 people – from a spectrum of ages, races, economic backgrounds, gender identities, faiths and life experiences – and use it to make an impact in communities across the state and region. From advocating at the Capitol to advocating at your office, church, school and community, there’s a lot of progress we can make together.
The Bowl-a-Thon was a great success on many practical levels – we raised $5,000 more than goal, we partnered with Eat for Equity to bring three new (very successful) teams on board, and we had some of our largest team fundraising totals ever. But more than that, we had the chance to celebrate a community that champions reproductive freedoms. In the words of one bowler, “It’s amazing to be here with all these people and see that there are so many of us who care about this.”
Thank you to all who participated and everyone who continues to work for reproductive justice in our communities.
In an article published by MinnPost, Karen Law of Pro-Choice Resources and Andrea Ledger of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota explain the implications of current anti-choice bills making their way through committees in the Minnesota legislature. They concisely show how these bills target low-income people, and that these bills are merely precursors to ending legal abortion.
This quote states perfectly why we must all raise our voices and speak out for reproductive justice, “The amount of money a person has or doesn’t have should not prohibit her from having an abortion. The ability for each person to make health care decisions for herself, without coercion by politicians or other outsiders, is truly a Minnesotan value.” Click here to read the whole article.
Click here to read the Pioneer Press’s article on legislation around abortion in Minnesota’s 2015 legislative session. Highlights include quotes from Pro-Choice Resources’ Karen Law and the executive director of the Women’s Health of Duluth Laurie Casey.
On the Anniversary of Roe v Wade, Jan 22, 1973, the Star Tribune published an article after making a visit to the Whole Women’s Health clinic in Minneapolis. The article discusses the current political landscape in Minnesota around abortion, issues of access in Minnesota and in other states, and includes some uncommon testimony from a woman who had just gone through the abortion procedure. Click here to read the whole article.
Former Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator Ho Nguyen’s article in MinnPost marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme court decision that deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United State constitution. Click here to read the whole article.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JANUARY 22, 2015
Contact: Karen Law – 612-865-8397
Andrea Ledger – 651-356-9358
Minnesota Reproductive Health Groups Condemn Anti-Choice Legislation
Saint Paul, MN (January 22, 2015) — This morning, reproductive health advocates in Minnesota condemned efforts that would restrict women’s access to affordable abortion care. These efforts, which have been put forth by local anti-choice groups including Minnesota Citizens Concern for Life (MCCL), prohibit Minnesota’s Medical Assistance funds from covering abortion care. MCCL and anti-choice groups released their agenda on the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which legalized abortion in the United States.
“In lieu of banning abortion altogether, MCCL and anti-choice groups are targeting Minnesota’s most vulnerable by making abortion care unaffordable. Any woman in Minnesota, from Rochester to Minneapolis to Crookston, should be able to make her own important life decisions, including whether to become a parent. But now our politicians want to treat some women’s health needs differently than others because of their income or source of insurance,” declared Andrea Ledger, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.
Minnesota is one of 15 states that uses state Medicaid funds to cover both childbirth and abortion care for low-income women. Minnesota’s Supreme Court decision, which was ruled on in 1995, ensures access to reproductive health care for all women, regardless of their financial situation or source of insurance coverage. These efforts, if enacted as legislation, would violate Minnesota’s constitutionally guaranteed reproductive decision-making by imposing coverage bans and other restrictions that limit access to abortion care.
“Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage just because she’s poor. These bans disproportionately affect low-income women, women of color, and young people,” explained Karen Law, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Resources. “Minnesotans need more, not less, access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services, and that includes safe and affordable abortion.”
“These efforts are a thinly veiled attack on women’s reproductive decisions and Minnesotans won’t stand for it,” added Ledger.