#nowwhat, abortion, Culture, women's health -

Meet the Woman Who’s Expanding Abortion Access: #NowWhat

Meet the Woman Who’s Expanding Abortion Access: #NowWhat
iStock/jcarillet

Abortion access in America is always under attack.

Expanding abortion access

In the past year, pro-choice activists have had to do a lot of work to make certain that women’s health remains on the front burner in American politicians’ minds.

Although abortion is still legal in America, more states are adding restrictions that make getting an abortion quite difficult. Every state has different rules pertaining to abortions and some states only have one clinic providing the procedure.

Attending rallies, volunteering, and writing and calling politicians are all spectacular ways to keep the pro-choice movement alive and abortion clinics open. But one activist, Maddy Rasmussen, is taking her pro-choice work a step forward.

Meet Maddy Rasmussen

Rasmussen, 18, created The Safe Place Project, a website that lists every abortion clinic in the United States. The site also features an interactive map and a list that highlights each state’s abortion restrictions.

Rasmussen came up with the concept of the site while working with Legal Voice, an organization that advocates for marginalized groups of women, and while doing a lot of personal research on the side.

Her work—inside and outside the organization—lead her to discover that the Internet didn’t have a comprehensive list of places where women can get abortions.

The Safe Place Project

Rasmussen got to work and launched her website—a specifically non-political virtual destination where people can get facts about abortion access.

“Some clinics are very open on their websites about their views towards abortion and some places don’t even explicitly advertise that they do abortion, but if you speak with them then they will tell you that they do,” Rasmussen says.

“I wanted to find the middle ground, showing patients where to access abortion but not making them feel like they were being bombarded with political jargon and bias.”

Restrictions

One of the most important aspects of Rasmussen’s site is its list of state-by-state restrictions. She came up with the site’s section after having a meeting with both of her mentors from Legal Voice and Cedar River Clinics. “Knowing where to access abortion is only one of the challenges patients have to face,” Rasmussen says.

“It can be potentially devastating for patients to travel for hundreds of miles to a clinic, which can be a reality for some people, to learn that they have to wait a 24 hours before the procedure and then have to scramble to find housing for the night, or several nights depending on the state.”

The future of abortion access

Rasmussen plans to continue updating and adding to her website project to ensure it stays timely and factual. She wants to update it at least once a quarter while she attends college in the fall. And she’s going to add more information to the site, too. For example, Rasmussen would like to add information about the type of abortion a clinic provides—a medication abortion, or surgical abortion, or both. She’d also like to add what gestation week the procedure goes up to.

We hope that more people will get as involved as Rasmussen in the fight to keep abortion access open and safe to women in America.

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