What You Can Actually Do Right Now To Help Preserve Reproductive Rights

Photo: Pacific Press/Getty Images.
Update: This week, House Speaker Paul Ryan made it clear that defunding Planned Parenthood is a top priority for the GOP — and part of their larger plan to dismantle Obamacare. Continue to our original article below to learn how you can help preserve reproductive care, including that provided by Planned Parenthood.

This article was originally published on November 9, 2016.
American voters have dealt a devastating blow to the future of reproductive rights in this country.

Donald Trump, the country's president-elect, has vowed to appoint judges who oppose access to abortion to the U.S. Supreme Court, a move that could open the door to overturning Roe v. Wade. And the GOP-controlled House will now have a Republican president to send legislation to dismantle Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, among other things.

"A Trump presidency will mean that attacks on access to abortion and all other reproductive health services will continue at the federal level and in states all across this country," Willie Parker, MD, board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said in a statement Wednesday morning.

"There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive health care, and most especially to the safety and dignity of people of color," Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards said in a statement Wednesday. "We will fight alongside our partners to make sure that the progress of the past eight years, including emerging from the worst recession we’ve had in close to a century, expanding health care coverage to more than 20 million Americans, breaking down barriers of discrimination and racism, and upholding marriage equality, is protected."

The outcome left many supporters of reproductive rights reeling and anxious about how to protect and preserve access to health care for women. Here are five things you can do to help.

Donate to Planned Parenthood or NARAL.
Women worried about the future of reproductive rights in America are channeling their despair into action, pledging to donate to Planned Parenthood and/or NARAL to help ensure that people continue to have access to lifesaving health care and information and to face down threats to reproductive freedom.
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Volunteer as a clinic escort.
Or find other IRL opportunities to help in your area by visiting the Planned Parenthood Action Fund website or the NARAL volunteering site.

Donate to your local abortion fund.
"Abortion funds make safe and legal abortion possible. Now that the Hyde Amendment seems even more secure and the financial markets are in trouble, it is more important than ever that everyone has access. Abortion funds help women get safe abortions no matter where they live," says New York-based reproductive rights activist Lauren Rankin.

Contact your member of Congress.
Now is the time to voice your concerns and priorities — find your representative and learn how to reach out here. And don't be afraid to pick up the phone. Calling is thought to be the most effective way to get your voice heard.

Talk to your friends and family about abortion.
And use the word, Rankin says: "Abortion remains stigmatized because we don't talk about it. One in three women in America have an abortion, but most of their friends and families don't know. If you feel comfortable, share your abortion story. If you haven't had an abortion, support those who have. Talk to those around you about what safe and legal abortion means and why it's so important.

"There are so many euphemisms for 'abortion,' and they all contribute to a culture that stigmatizes abortion and makes it seem foreign," Rankin says." The smallest but perhaps most important thing you can do long-term is to use the word and not be afraid."
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