Wed. May 18th, 2022

To learn more about teen rights, check out our special edition.

Last September, a late night text message came to Wright By You, a Missouri text line that helps young people understand their rights regarding abortion, birth control, birth, parenting, and adoption. Connects to resources that support their decisions. One line read, “I’m pregnant and I’m not sure what to do.”

The good news is that we do. We work on abortion access support lines in Missouri and Texas to provide young people with a decision-free, supportive space where they can talk and get accurate information about their reproductive rights. Although abortion is legal in all 50 states, access to abortion is not a reality for many people, especially young people. Missouri and Texas are two of the 37 states that require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion.

As difficult as access to abortion care is, young people, people who don’t have much money, and people of color should work twice as hard to overcome the barriers that make abortion more inaccessible. Yes, even during abortion. Is still legal. How we take steps to help young people overcome these obstacles.

Roe has fallen in Texas, and this is just the beginning.

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Supporting the youth

In Missouri, volunteers work Right by U (RBY) five days a week.

Like the Janes Dave Process in Texas, RBY provides young people with a compassionate, non-judgmental space to talk about their options, challenges and feelings that come with visiting the reproductive health scene. Volunteers are trained to provide emotional support and provide a clear strategy for young people with possible solutions that explore their pregnancy options, as well as in Missouri and surrounding states. Provides information on abortion access with parental involvement laws. Organizations like ours in the states that have extremely limited access to abortion provide a model for offering these services in a growing hostile environment.

When the RBY received this text from a young man we call Jane last September, we rushed forward, helping her schedule her multiple clinic appointments and assist in the judicial bypass process. To do so, he linked it to a lawyer – a court order by a judge that allowed someone under the age of 18 to have an abortion in a situation where a young person cannot include parents in his or her decision. Yet, seven weeks had passed since Jane, 16, sent her initial text, when she had succeeded in having an abortion.

Seven weeks is a huge delay, but in the end, Jane manages to access the abortion care she needed. If Jane were in Texas – where Gracie leads programming for Jane’s Dave Process, a 24/7 hotline and text line – there would be no seven-week delay. This is a denial.

The Texas SB 8, an almost complete abortion ban that has been in effect since September, has eliminated clinical-based abortion care, which detects fetal cardiac activity during approximately six weeks of pregnancy. At the Jane’s Dave Process, we provide one-on-one support to Texas teens, as well as parents from other states to help young people during the judicial bypass process, to take care of secret abortions. To navigate the rules of consent. JDP, like Right By You, works to overcome these barriers by providing emotional and logistical support, financial support, legal representation, and more.

Gracie recently helped a young man in Florida who was afraid to go to court for a court bypass himself and needed help finding an abortion clinic. Gracie connected her to a lawyer, found the nearest clinic where she could make an appointment, and answered all her questions along the way. After working with the JDP and developing an action plan, the young man said, “Thank you very much. I was losing hope, I can’t go through without you.

Infrastructure that has not been established for the youth.

Since 2011, anti-abortion politicians have passed more than 550 abortion bans aimed at making abortion impossible. Restrictions and restrictions on abortion are designed to harm those who are working to achieve their goals, and they are black, indigenous, and other people of color, as well as LGBTQ people, young people, And the ones that fall short are the ones that fall short. Even more tragic is how the judicial bypass process forces black and brown youth to gain understanding and sympathy for a judicial system that has systematically made them criminals.

In addition, the legal requirements for clinic operations and judicial bypass are not designed for young people. Young people who balance work, school, homework, sports, volunteering, and other extracurricular activities have little control over their schedules, and often lack privacy. This is exactly what Jane, an RBY client, encountered:

I actually encountered a few challenges along the way. Whenever I went to the lawyer to sign papers, I had to make excuses to my mother about my whereabouts. It was hard to find a private place for the zoom meeting, but I did it in my boyfriend’s car in my school parking lot. My schedule was the hardest with sports, work and school.

Unfortunately, the experiences these genes have had are not unique. These young people need reproductive justice, a framework created by black women in 1994 and praised for what they call “maintaining personal physical autonomy, having children, not having children, and safe and sustainable communities.” I call it the human right to raise these children. “And if the state is going to deny women of color their right to reproductive justice, we are going to make sure that we, the youth, We will do our best to protect access.

Young people can’t wait – 4.3 million people under the age of 19 are uninsured and do not have access to healthcare. With the ability of Ro v. Wade In states where abortion is outlawed, falling, advocacy and abortion funds will need to develop special strategies to help adolescents receive abortion care, as previously It is becoming increasingly inaccessible under increasing restrictions. As states enforce more prohibited laws or seek to ban abortions altogether, the Jane’s Dew Process and Right By You help young people navigate the judicial bypass process through these challenges, providing emotional support. While providing, and will continue to provide them with unbiased information about all their reproductive processes. authorities.

Access to abortion is not just about legal status. It’s about our dignity, our humanity and our freedom. Abortion care should be available to anyone who needs it, wherever they live, whatever they are, and whatever their age – and we will do what it takes to access abortion care. Is essential for the safety of everyone who needs it.

We must ensure that young people are not left without options or resources. Active legislation and methods are needed to address the growing disparity in access to sex education and abortion, as well as opposition legislation and growing restrictions. Young people must be able to receive dignified, compassionate care, and JDP and RBY must continue to innovate to help young people live independent reproductive lives.

Lawyers like us know that young people deserve support for their decisions about sex, not shame, and that pregnancy is not a punishment for happiness. We must focus on the voices of young people, pay them to lead the work, and persuade them for their resilience. As more and more abortion restrictions are introduced, we will not stop associating young people with abortion care – and demand access to abortion for all the young people we serve and will fight.

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