With the close of 2017, we begin to reflect on the things in our lives that we want to change and improve for a better 2018. At HowToUse, we are proud of our accomplishments this year. We are more confident than ever that we can reach millions of more users all over the world and empower women to have safe and successful medical abortions.
2017 was a busy year for HowToUse. We translated our materials into 23 different languages, we rebuilt our website to be intuitive and mobile-friendly, and we launched four different social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Leveraging the momentum we gained in the last year alone, we are eager to continue advocating for women’s reproductive freedom in 2018. We’re aiming to engage more people in the global pro-choice movement and help train champions of women’s reproductive health. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of Five New Year’s Resolutions for advocates of safe abortion in 2018. Check out our list below, share your thoughts with us, and spread the word.
1. Become an abortion ally
Earlier this year, HowToUse ran a social media campaign with tips for how anyone can become an abortion ally. Being an ally means dispelling myths and misinformation about abortion, as well as spreading accurate information to reduce the stigma around reproductive health.
For example, did you know that abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in the world? In fact, about 25% of all pregnancies will be terminated. We encourage abortion allies to highlight key facts and debunk myths about abortion being a rare procedure only for the most desperate women with no other choices.
2. Support new and innovative strategies:
At HowToUseAbortionPill.org, we made it a point in 2017 to build up our partnerships with ally organizations as well as spotlight the great work they’re doing in communities all over the world. It is essential to bring attention to the innovative strategies and tactics that organizations are using.
Take for example The Lady Parts Justice League, who uses comedy as a strategic device to talk about reproductive health and engage people in new ways. They travel to communities throughout the United States, performing comedy shows and increasing awareness of the political battles that are raging on the local level. We believe it is critical to find and support these new, innovative approaches to defending reproductive freedom all over the world.
Know of an organization working to make abortion safe and accessible to women? Tell us about them! Email us at email@example.com or write to us on Facebook. We’re always look for exciting new projects to highlight!
3. Take an inventory of your own biases:
Even the staunchest reproductive rights supporters may find themselves clinging to deep rooted stereotypes or beliefs about abortion and the women who receive them. With the best of intentions, many people erroneously believe that abortion only “happens” to desperate (often young) women who are left with no choices in the matter. People also tend to believe that abortion produces only negative emotions like sadness and depression.
In fact, research shows both of these assumptions are wrong. Far from the stereotype of the woman or girl desperately seeking to end her pregnancy, women are making conscious, careful decisions about their reproductive health and often report feeling confident and relieved after the procedure. A study from the University of California found that 99% of women who had abortions in the United States felt like they made the right decision retrospectively. It is important to examine of our beliefs and biases around abortion so that we can better educate and inform others.
4. Spread the word about safe abortion options
Our team is proud to be constantly engaging in new and strong partnerships on the ground. With the support of local organizations, we’re creating country profiles to inform women on how and where they can get safe abortions.
Thus far, we are providing country-specific information for:
- New Zealand
- United States
Do you represent an SRH or abortion advocacy organization from a country not on our list? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook. We are constantly looking to expand our country profile section.
5. Learn about the importance of reproductive freedom:
Everyday, women from all over the world are struggling to access basic reproductive rights. More than 8,000 pregnant girls are being expelled from school in Tanzania every year because President Magufuli claims they would encourage other girls to engage in sex.
Health professionals who stand by women’s rights, such as the Kenyan nurse Jackson Tali, are being are being persecuted by conservative governments. Impact from the Global Gag Rule goes beyond abortionfor countries that are lacking economic resources. Taking a stand to openly supporting the unrestricted access to sexual and reproductive justice is key to the advancement and wellbeing of women around the world.
HowToUse is so grateful for our supporters and partners. We congratulate you all on the critical work we’ve done together in 2017 to ensure women all over the world have the information they need to have safe and successful abortions. We look forward to continuing our work in 2018 and hope you will join us in resolving to fight even harder to protect reproductive freedom. Happy New Year!