VOLUME 6, Part 2:
WITHOUT BODILY AUTONOMY, WE AREN’T FREE.
We knew last Friday’s ruling was coming, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
Across the U.S., people are grappling with this new reality: Abortion care is rapidly disappearing from many parts of the country. But if you’ve been following rePRO, you know that many people were already struggling to access abortion services. Since long before 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, activists have worked to fill in the gaps, providing emotional support, travel assistance, and abortion services to people in need.
In this moment, we need to follow their lead and support their work. You can start by watching June’s short film “Undue Burdens,” then listen to the Periodical Podcast interview with filmmaker Andrea Raby and Marie Khan, director of operations for the Midwest Access Coalition.
In our home state of Kansas, we’re gearing up for an Aug. 2 ballot referendum that would open the door to anti-abortion legislation. It’s an ugly battle and we’re doing what we can to help spread the word for choice. We the people have a say. Which reminds us – if you haven’t registered to vote yet, make sure to check the deadlines in your state.
It’s also OK to disconnect from the news and take care of yourself. This is going to be one hell of a fight, and we’ll need all the self-love and strength we can muster.
The Team rePRO
Directed by Andrea Raby (32m)
Have you had a chance to watch “Undue Burdens?” Our June short film selection connects two generations of Chicago abortion activists: Jane Collective and the Midwest Access Coalition (MAC). If you watch one documentary about activism this year, make it this one.
The film follows MAC as they help people access abortions throughout the Midwest and beyond by organizing to provide funding for travel, hotel stays, child care and food. The history of Jane demonstrates how powerful women can be when they band together to make something happen.
Periodical Podcast Bonus Episode: Why WE’RE Here
Meet some of the rePRO Team
Get to know us a little better in this bonus podcast episode: A few members of the rePRO team got together to talk about why we do this work. Hear from co-founders Lela Meadow-Conner and Mallory Martin, podcast host Asha Dahya, programmer Neha Aziz, and copywriter Emily Christensen.
(Recorded prior to June 24, 2022.)
“We’re all from all across the country. We’re from all different walks of life and different lived experiences, different ages … (we’re in) different parts of our lives. And I think that it’s so important that rePRO never is a singular vision. It is all of us..”
— Lela Meadow-Conner
The RePRO Period Podcast Episode 6: Andrea Raby and Marie Khan in conversation with Asha Dahya
In this bracing conversation, “Undue Burdens” director/producer Andrea Raby and Marie Khan, director of operations for Midwest Access Coalition break down what each of us can do to preserve abortion access and why wearing Handmaid costumes and wielding wire hangers isn’t helpful.
Some loving reminders about language
This Instagram carousel from Apiary for Practical Support is a quick and handy guide to what not to say when expressing support for abortion rights. “Camping,” Handmaids, wire hangers and more: Let’s be thoughtful, clear and inclusive as we communicate about the need for universal access to abortion care.
Where do we go from here?
The Dobbs decision prompted many media leaders to tell journalists to keep their opinions to themselves. One notable exception is Memphis-based nonprofit newsroom MLK50. In this letter from the editor, Adrienne Johnson Martin explains why she runs a pro-choice newsroom: “I mean, there just aren’t two sides. ‘We support bodily autonomy and being free to make choices as you and your doctor see fit.’ On abortion, as humans, that’s where we start.”
‘THE CHOICE’: A VR EXPERIENCE
The Choice is a series of interactive VR experiences where women talk about their choice to have an abortion.
Kristen Morley, a young Native American woman from Austin, dreams of raising a family. Instead, she finds herself facing a painful system that forces women into dehumanizing situations just to survive.
The Choice blends techniques from traditional documentary storytelling, personal conversation, and animation, using virtual reality and interactivity to redefine not only how we tell the stories, but how the audience experiences them and connects with the subject on a deep, emotional level.
KRISTIN MORELY ON USING VIRTUAL REALITY TO TELL HER ABORTION STORY
A 3D version of me was created for The Choice, an interactive Virtual Reality documentary by director Joanne Popinska and her team. Surrounded by art and music, I hold a conversation with each audience member about why I needed to access abortion care at 21 weeks pregnant.
Viewers are forced to “walk a mile in my moccasins” by wearing a headset and using toggles to navigate the documentary as I describe my relationship with my partner, our decision to get pregnant, and how people with unhealthy pregnancies are treated in Texas.
What abortion looks like in every state — right now
This invaluable, continually updated resource summarizes current abortion laws across the U.S., aggregates the latest news, and even includes a handy glossary of terms. And can we just say how much we love The 19th? Visit for the easy-to-understand infographics, stay for the comprehensive reproductive health coverage.
6 Ways to Fight for Abortion Rights After Roe
In this bracing piece, Katha Pollit lists a range of practical next steps to shore up abortion access in a post-Roe world. “[D]on’t let yourself feel pre-defeated,” she writes. “We can win this eventually, but despair will make it harder.” Write it on a Post-It note, because the sentiment is too important to forget.
Half of States Set to Ban Abortion Have No Sex Ed Requirements
Comprehensive sex ed is correlated with significantly lower rates of teen pregnancy, yet many states likely to ban abortion don’t require it. The consequences are obvious: “[W]e’re going to have a lot of people turning to unreliable sources of information,” says one sex educator. This is a reminder that education is key to reproductive justice.
Texting for Reproductive Justice
Mohini Lal spends her weekends catching up on work, parenting her children — and “helping people get abortions.” She’s a volunteer for Texas Equal Access Fund’s text message hotline, a critical resource as Texas’ abortion laws tighten. This portrait of practical activism pairs well with this month’s film selection, and text-based volunteerism is an excellent alternative for folks who want to fit some activism into their busy lives.
National Network of Abortion Funds
Even before last week’s Supreme Court decision, access to reproductive health care was limited in large parts of the country, and poor patients are the least likely to receive timely and appropriate care. Abortion funds provide critical financial assistance to patients who would not be ablet to pay for abortion services otherwise. The National Network of Abortion Funds is a convenient way to look up and donate to the fund dedicated to your state.
Artists For Choice
rePRO is joining with Trust Women, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom and Wave to present a screening of the short film “Choices,” a panel discussion, and performances by local musicians on July 14 in Wichita. Half of all ticket sales will be donated to Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, a coalition of pro-choice organizations working to defeat the Aug. 2 anti-abortion ballot referendum in Kansas.