Over the last five years at Sustain, we have worked tirelessly to advocate for safe sex, sex-positive sex education, and complete bodily autonomy, and in the past week, we’ve seen lawmakers try to dismantle these values.
My team and I watched the devastating legislation pass, limiting abortion access in Alabama. “The Alabama Human Life Protection Act” (but not protecting the human who is pregnant, I guess?) states that those seeking abortions should only receive them if their life is at risk, even if their pregnancy is a result of rape and/or insest. Additional states, including Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri, have proposed “heartbeat bills”, aiming to ban abortions once a physician can detect a heartbeat. These bills are intentionally designed to incriminate vulnerable people and doctors for conducting safe, accessible abortions-- a procedure that nearly 1 in 4 women have -- and strip them of their human right to choose what is best for their bodies.
On the day the abortion ban in Alabama was announced, with our community’s energizing support, we donated 10k to Yellowhammer Fund, a non-profit that funds safe abortions and provides access (like transportation and housing) to those seeking abortions in Alabama. While donating to organizations is critical, I wanted to create a global outreach of support and call to action, and share this message with all communities-- not just my own.
Thursday morning, I decided to reach out to women I admire, many of whom are CEO’s of like-minded brands, and ask them to come together and take a stand for reproductive rights, because there is too much at stake to be silent. My goal? To get all CEO’s to speak out in support of our right to choose, period.
While abortion access is a debate that has divided public opinion for decades, it feels clear to me, and many others, that laws banning abortions will only ever stop legal and safe ones. As business owners, it is crucial for us to use our platforms and voices to support the rights of the people we serve, and beyond.
As a result of galvanizing my peers, a full-page ad in the New York Times ran today. Together, we stated what an abortion really is, rather than it’s current post as a controversial buzzword. We are reclaiming the conversation around this word and it’s meaning, reminding folks that an abortion is a constitutional right, a personal choice, and basic healthcare. An abortion is life-saving, gender equality, and the ability to own your own body. An abortion is not a crime, it is not political, and it is not up for debate. Abortion is a basic human right, one we will continue to fight for, for as long as we need to fight for it.
If you would like to get involved, we encourage you to learn more about (and if you’d like to, donate!) to these non profits:
- Yellowhammer Fund, a non-profit that funds accessibility, transportation and lodging for those seeking an abortion at one of Alabama's 3 clinics.
- National Network Of Abortion Funds, a non-profit aiming to remove financial and logistical roadblocks for those seeking abortion access.
- Planned Parenthood, an organization we’ve been proud to support for 5 years, and participating in their “Stop the Bans Day of Action” on May 21st.
Whether you attend a rally, give a donation, or make a commitment to vote against restrictive policies on election day, your actions create impact. Thank you for supporting us in our unifying mission to #stopthebans, once and for all.