An 18-year-old girl from Des Moines, WA just made it a whole lot easier to find a local abortion clinic. While interning for Legal Voice, an organization that uses the law to make changes for the most marginalized communities, Maddy Rasmussen realized that it wasn't always easy for people to find information about abortion clinics online. There wasn't a definitive website or a database that would point people in the right direction. So Rasmussen created one herself.
It's called the Safe Place Project, and it's a website with an interactive map that shows the name, address, and phone number of every abortion clinic in the United States. The mission of the website is "to be a safe, non-biased place for you to obtain information about abortion care near you." Rasmussen told Teen Vogue that she "felt like it was time to tackle something that could make a larger impact on women nationwide."
That's why this map doesn't just help people find the location of the nearest abortion clinic, but provides additional information to help those looking for a legal and safe abortion get one. Search by state, and you can find out whether your state has any restrictions that you need to be aware of such as a counseling requirement, waiting period, or parental requirement.
"I wanted my website to be free of bias and political jargon to make sure women would not be confused by language when searching for a clinic," she told Teen Vogue.
It's an important resource now since the current political administration has made it even tougher for women to know where to turn when they need information. "It's increasingly hard to be able to find abortion clinics by just doing a Google search," Rasmussen told Teen Vogue. "More often than not, Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) will pop up on the listings, and they can use language that can trick women into thinking that they offer abortion services. With more laws being enacted against clinics and clinics closing at a drastic rate, I think it's very important to have a resource that is as up-to-date as possible."
Rasmussen told Broadly that "there were some clinics that, before I was even able to post and update the website, had closed." Unfortunately, many of the websites for these closed abortion clinics are not updated, meaning women are still traveling there only to find out they are closed.
Last month, The New York Times reported that there are seven states — North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Kentucky — that only have one abortion clinic. Kentucky may become the first state to have none.
This attack on abortion clinics is why Rasmussen told Broadly she had to think long and hard whether she wanted to go through with this project. "I knew while there would be a positive reaction to it, there would be a negative reaction as well," Rasmussen, who heads to college this fall, said. "[But] I realized that all the time and fear that I had in this project would pay off if it would even help just one woman."
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