Roe, Useful practical info
Hi friends. Here's some things to think about from The New Handbook for a Post-Roe America by Robin Marty for folks who might be panicking right now and planning to stockpile emergency contraceptives (Plan B):
"1. Are you buying locally, or online?
-If you are purchasing emergency contraception for future use, please consider only buying it from online sites. This ensures that for those who have an actual emergency and need medication immediately, there is still a supply on the shelf for them to buy and it isn’t out of stock. Waiting two days or more for delivery because there is no place to purchase locally is the surest way for a person to end up with an unwanted pregnancy.
2. Do you really need that many doses?
-Yes, buying a bunch of EC feels like a really proactive way to stick it to anti-abortion politicians. But remember, most EC has a shelf life of three to four years, and in some cases the clock may already be ticking. Twenty packs of EC do no one any good if they all expire because you really only needed four. Unless you have a real reason to think that you might end up as a distribution channel for your friends or neighbors, limit how many you get at once. Odds are, you will be able to buy more later.
3. Is there a local organization that offers EC? Can you help them, instead?
-Let’s be frank, getting emergency contraception from a stranger is a sort of freaky idea. Preventing a pregnancy—especially after intercourse—is a pretty private activity. No one really wants to reach out to someone they don’t know in order to get medication, but they are more likely to contact reproductive rights and justice groups, organizations that support marginalized communities, or feminist groups than private individuals. Don’t recreate the wheel when there are already organizations distributing EC—offer those groups money or medication, or even offer to help distribute through their channels rather than try to do this alone.
For people looking for medication that will be delivered straight to their home, Afterpill.com is a website where you can purchase single-dose or three-dose packages of EC for twenty dollars each—less than half of what you’d pay at a pharmacy.
Or if you are already getting birth control pills by mail, either through a Planned Parenthood clinic or via an online pharmacy, ask about having a dose or two of EC added to your next delivery. Some outlets—especially Planned Parenthoods—will offer one or two doses a year that they will send along as part of your prescription. Or you can ask your doctor to write a prescription for her to fill now and have on hand for later, when you or someone you know might need it."
Roe, Useful practical info
Today's offering from "The New Handbook for A Post-Roe America" regarding offering your home to people seeking abortions as we've seen many post about wanting to do:
"As patients are forced to travel longer distances to get to legal clinics, it will be imperative that they have places to stay in order to make it to their appointments. If all of the South bans abortion, as some expect, pregnant people could be traveling as many as eight hours in one direction just to receive care. That will mean a minimum of one night’s stay, maybe more, adding at least a hundred dollars onto a basic first-trimester abortion cost.
There are already programs out there looking at a way to lodge patients with people near the clinic on a case-by-case basis. In Madison, Wisconsin, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin launched a sleepover program to offer rooms hosted by vetted supporters, allowing patients to spend a night in town at no cost if necessary.
As abortion access disappears, there is no doubt that these sorts of programs will become even more necessary, but the reality is that they are also extremely resource-heavy from a nonprofit or volunteer point of view. Not only does the practical support group sponsoring the program have to vet participants, it also has to coordinate calendars, openings, and other moving parts, making such programs rather labor intensive.
Some reproductive rights activists suggest that the effort and financial backing needed for vetted overnight stays would be better spent on hotels for patients, which would both be safer and provide more autonomy for the person undergoing the procedure. However, there are practical support groups who do this sort of work directly and personally, and find it extremely helpful for patients in need.
If you are interested in offering your room or home to a person needing an overnight stay in order to get an abortion, contact your state abortion fund or reproductive rights organization to discuss the possibility. But before doing so, here are a few things to consider:
1. Will you be providing privacy or support? Some patients—especially those who may be staying for longer procedures—may need a host who can also bring them food, drive them to the appointment and back, or pick up medications or other items. Others may want to be left completely alone and not have any interaction with another human. Can you meet both of those needs, depending on what the guest wants? If the person wants privacy, are you able to provide a completely private space, or are there shared spaces you can’t avoid?
2.How available will your space be? Are you going to always have an empty room, or is it just a few times a month or year? Is this a set schedule, or does it change randomly? The more work a support group needs to put into using your space for patients, the fewer resources they have for other support work.
3. Is the space accessible? Can it be easily accessed by wheelchair or walker? Is the bathroom wide and easy to use? Are there stairs? Is the bed high? Is there parking? If you are going to offer your home or property, you need to be sure it will meet the needs of anyone who may use it.
4. Are you concerned about damage? Offering a space to stay isn’t like operating an Airbnb. Patients who have had abortions will have some bleeding, and there may be other health or medical needs to address too. Also, some may need to bring family, especially young children. Be prepared to childproof, and know that breakage may very well happen regardless.
If you have concerns about any of the above, consider a different way to help, including renting out the space now and giving the proceeds to a local support group to allow them to rent hotel rooms more easily."
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