by Maggie Kantor and Leah Barry
As proud democratic socialists and feminists, we joined the fight as co-captains for the Chicago Abortion Fund’s annual Bowl-a-Thon. Our goal is to raise $1,500 from our diverse coalition in the DSA for our greater Chicago area community. We’re asking that you donate to the DSA team and help us reach this goal by April 24th so that we can be a vital part of the movement to provide safe, legal abortion to those who need it.
We’re reaching out to you as fellow progressives and members of the Democratic Socialists of America, an organization formed on the ideals of feminism and socialism. As dedicated members, we know you are interested in reforming and changing the system to better the lives of working people by fighting for a more equitable world. Supporting reproductive justice is a simple way to do this and fight for every single person to have the right to control their own bodies. By donating, you help remove the legal and economic barriers that prevent thousands of men and women from being forced into having (or not having) children.
Since 2011, when Republicans took over many state legislatures and governorships, restrictions have grown. According to the Guttmacher Institute, founded to address sexual and reproductive health research, policy and advocacy, since 2010, states have enacted 231 restrictions to abortion, and, in 2015, “more than half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states that are hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights.”
Some state and local governments have limited access by requiring that clinics that offer abortions comply with the more stringent hospital building regulations instead of the regulations that affect all other medical clinics; failure to comply will lead to clinic closure. Other legislation requires that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals; doctors who provide services from out of town find it difficult to get privileges.
Many low-income Americans simply don’t have savings or support networks that can afford the cost of an abortion. Beyond that, their insurance might be government funded and tax dollars are legally not allowed to go to abortion, no matter the reason for the abortion. Laws that require mandatory waiting periods and specific examinations also punish low-income women by forcing them to lose wages and pay for lodging in a city that could be literally hundreds of miles from their home. In the name of women’s health, anti-choice activists are pushing women into predatory loans and other awful and avoidable situations so that they can afford a legal and medically sound procedure.
Please consider donating much needed funds to the Chicago Abortion Fund by April 24th — the CAF supports low-income members of our community and makes reproductive justice possible for many of them.
The Supreme Court just heard a case about Texas’s restrictive laws that forced numerous clinics in the state to close — but this could happen anywhere in America with the prevailing political climate pushing more and more extreme laws through state legislation. While the Supreme Court absolutely stood up for people seeking abortions in an amazing session, we have to join Justices Bader Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan in the fight for reproductive health and justice for all.
The fight for reproductive justice can feel like a Sisyphean task with every step forward bringing a new fight that pushes us three steps back. It’s important not to feel demoralized or to give up — women and families need you to keep fighting and donate to the cause. For every law that restricts access to abortions and forces women into medically and economically precarious situations, there are brave people who bring us closer to the world promised by Roe v. Wade.
When you support CAF, you support low-income women across the city and allow them to actually choose their pregnancy (or not) by providing economic access to a procedure that is legal in this country. Supporting CAF is just one act in the fight for reproductive justice and compliments the work done by NARAL, Planned Parenthood and countless other organizations across the globe who fight for the same feminist and humanist rights that the DSA supports and promotes. I ask that you give what you can (by April 24th), share the link or this email with others who may be interested or may just have room for education on this topic. Please reach out if you would like to participate in the event itself.
With politicians, conservatives and anti-choice activists fighting across the nation to restrict access to safe and affordable abortions, it is absolutely vital for our diverse coalition of DSA members to support reproductive justice. It may seem small, but even $25 can help a specific, local population of people left behind by those who have defunding the social support network of our government.
P.S. While a donation of any size would be absolutely wonderful and very appreciated, we know not everyone is financially able to give. If you could share this link with your friends and family who might be able to give, we would appreciate that just as much! Remember, the bowl-a-thon is on April 24th, so donations need to be in by then!