(this particular blog post was written by gather here's founder, Virginia B. Johnson.)
While watching the livestream of the 2022 MetGala on Monday, May 2, 2022 my breaking news alert went off and the headline, "Supreme Court poised to strike down Roe v. Wade..." popped up on my screen. I clicked the link and stopped paying attention to fashions' take on "The Gilded Age" instead reading in dread the news that I suppose I knew all along was coming. I woke up on Tuesday morning with the same heavy heart, puffy cried out eyes that I awoke with the day after the 2016 election. The election that made the planned roll back of civil rights all the more clear to me. And yet I marched, donated, and used my tiny platform to advocate for progress. I know so many others that did the same. Never giving up hope. Remembering that we do not have the luxury to despair when so much was/is on the line.
I have been pro-choice for as long as I can remember having an opinion. I have been pro-abortion since the day I chose to have one. My life would definitely not be the current one without choice. This place that we've built would not exist because everything would be different. So this May, we have chosen the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts as our We Care Wednesday recipient. ARFWM provides direct funding to folks who either reside in New England or are going to a clinic located in New England (which they define as Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). ARFWM is a community-based, all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping people overcome the economic barriers to abortion care.
This post is not just to announce our monthly Wednesday donation but also to share other abortion resource information. In April 2022, Reproductive Equity Now launched their new online resource guide to abortion care, clinics, and financial assistance across New England. If you are looking for abortion care the site is super helpful, listing providers that actually perform abortions and their timeline. They also list resources on how individuals can pay for abortion care. And what to expect before, during, and after receiving abortion care.
Need financial assistance outside of New England? The National Network of Abortion Funds is a great place to start to find resources wherever home is. I was energized seeing former gather here colleagues, now living in other parts of the country sharing the abortion funds in their area. And I hope anyone taking the time to read this post will find a fund to donate to or volunteer at.
You can donate to the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts directly by clicking through to their donation page. You can donate to over 80 abortion funds nationwide by clicking on this ActBlue link.
Curious what America was like before Roe vs. Wade? Eleanor Cooney's 2009 piece for Mother Jones, "The Way It Was" is an excellent (and sobering) read.
*Since launching the We Care Wednesday initiative in January 2017 we have donated over $57,905 to a variety of nonprofits and mutual aid funds doing essential work in our community as well as other places. From the Mayor's Disaster Fund to BAGLY to Movement Voter Project and Found In Translation. We select organizations that we feel represent not only our commitment to a better, more equitable world but also our desire to "do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."