Abortion rights are under attack across the country—from “heartbeat bills” aimed at destroying Roe v. Wade to “crisis pregnancy centers” that lie to pregnant people. But Seneca Joyner knows we can fight back—by organizing and paying for abortions.
Seneca is the manager of community organizing at Women’s Medical Fund, the oldest and largest abortion fund in the country. She’s also a Muslim, an anarchist, a parent, a historian, and...a joy to talk with. So listen up for a deep dive into abortion rights and access, what’s happening legally right now, and why Seneca is 1,000% sure that we will win.
Our average pledge at Women’s Medical Fund is $128. And we often talk with people about that because what that means is that before folks call us...they have pooled their resources to bring money to the table, but they’re short, on average—for this extremely safe, regular medical procedure—less than $130.
—Seneca Joyner, manager of community organizing, Women’s Medical Fund
We talk about:
- Why organizing for abortion rights is just as crucial to raising money for abortion care. “If we are not organizing ourselves and our communities to ensure abortion access...abortion will be so heavily criminalized that it won’t matter that we have half a million dollars to give away. It will be impossible for folks to access care for any reason.”
- How black women’s real lives aren’t represented by the dominant narrative. “I grew up in the eighties when the dominant discourse was that... black women were literally ruining the black community. And then I looked around and I saw myself, but I saw my mother and her friends. They were so joyful.”
- Why crisis pregnancy centers are really anti-abortion centers—and their goals are to waste your time. “When people decide to have an abortion, they are resolute about it... And a way that our abortion opponents have hit on that has been extremely successful is that crisis pregnancy centers juuuust make it—they’ll add another week or two weeks in the ways that they obstruct people from actually finding a clinic.”
- How Muslim faith and abortion advocacy fit together. “I was more able to live not only my life as an abortion enthusiast, but also as a person who had an abortion that was a parent that loved people and wanted to see good in the world—it was actually coming over to Islam and doing this work as a Muslim woman that enabled me to do every part of it.”
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