Forty ways to oppose “40 Days for Life”

September 28, 2017

From September 27 through November 5, anti-abortion fanatics will descend on women's clinics around the country for their biannual "40 Days for Life." They will fast, pray and harass women outside of clinics in attempts to disrupt the clinic's ability to provide health care. They encourage their followers to attempt to close down clinics with these actions.

Supporters of reproductive rights are organizing to make sure the anti-women fanatics don't go unopposed. In New York City, NYC for Abortion Rights is organizing clinic defenses and encourages activists in other cities to do so as well. The group came up with 40 days' worth of actions and activities to show opposition to the "40 Days for Life." Here, we reprint them--and encourage readers to put them into practice to show your support of reproductive rights.

1. Shout your Abortion and share with a friend or write about it on our Facebook thread).

2. Attend a film screening of Care in Chaos in New York, hosted by NYC for Abortion Rights.

3. Buy Dr. Willie Parker's book Life's Work: A Moral Argument for Choice. Start a book club on it.

4. Watch a video of a pro-choice activist who went undercover to a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

5. Expose Fake Clinics!

6. Read the article "Abortion is Not a Privilege" by Olivia Capello and Kate Castle.

7. Share this image and learn our history of unapologetic defense of abortion, led by Women's Health Action and Mobilization (WHAM) and Act UP!

8. Congress is voting on a federal ban on abortion at 20 weeks. Call or protest your local representative and demand they oppose the bill.

9. Donate to the Kentucky Abortion Fund to support the last remaining clinic there.

10. Join All Above All, an organization dedicated to restoring public insurance coverage for abortion.

11. Read the article "Losing the Battle and the War" by Lichi D'Amelio.

Pro-choice activists rally in defense of abortion rights
Pro-choice activists rally in defense of abortion rights (NARAL Pro-Choice Texas | Facebook)

12. Sign a petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment and donate to your local abortion fund.

13. Watch the movie After Tiller.

14. Write a thank you letter to an abortion provider. Lindy West has a great example.

15. Someone you know having an abortion? Make a "care package" filled with things like a heating pad, chocolates, Netflix credit for a sappy movie, light reading, a coupon for ordering in--anything to make a day of rest more comfortable.

16. Become an escort/defender in NYC. Sign up here!

17. Want to talk to your kids about abortion? Some age-appropriate suggestions.

18. Purchase a pro-choice button kit!

19. Read the article "When Buffalo Sent Operation Rescue Packing" by Brian Erway.

20. Support Seattle Clinic Defense.

21. Abortion rights on their own are not enough. We want full reproductive justice for all. Read about the difference here and here.

22. Watch Care in Chaos or read the article "Pro-Choice Advocates See 'Partial Win' in North Carolina Sound Permit Battle" and join the fight to protect A Preferred Women's Health Center, North Carolina's busiest abortion clinic by applying for an amplified sound permit on their behalf (to prevent antis from using loudspeakers). Make phone calls every day to the Charlotte police and to the Charlotte mayor's office and state that you are in favor of women having free and unfettered access to abortion at Preferred Women's Health Center in East Charlotte without harassment and abuse.

23. Contact your senator and insist they support Medicare for All, which includes abortion and reproductive rights care for all.

24. In New York, activists are defending a Bronx abortion clinic from harassment. Spread the word, or if you aren't in New York, organize a clinic defense in your city.

25. Talk to your doctor--find out if she provides abortion care or referrals. Encourage her to support Physicians for Reproductive Health.

26. Read Abortion Wars and start a book club!

27. Abortion is becoming a forbidden word. Find three positive things to say about abortion in the next three days. Say them to friends and family. Write them on our Facebook wall!

28. Have a fundraising event at your home (a dinner, a party, etc., where you pass the hat) and send the proceeds to one of the struggling clinics in anti-abortion states.

29. Watch Vessel, a documentary about an abortion provider in international waters.

30. With the holidays coming up, get help discussing abortion with friends and family here.

31. Spread the truth about abortion--share one of these memes.

32. Learn about Inroads, an organization dedicated to combating abortion stigma, and help to shift stigma yourself by writing an op-ed or blog piece, or striking up a conversation about abortion at your local coffee shop.

33. Do you work in tech? Here's how tech workers can support abortion rights.

34. Read the article "Don't Call It Universal without Including Abortion Coverage" by Vidya Visvabharathy from Physicians for a National Health Program.

35. Homesick for your home state? Support your sisters there by supporting home state clinics who need help most.

36. Read When Abortion Was a Crime by historian Leslie Reagan to learn about the stakes of recriminalizing abortion.

37. Watch Abortion: Stories Women Tell.

38. Share this quote by Dr. Willie Parker on social media.

39. Check out this link to learn about the reproductive health care available or (not available!) to incarcerated women in states across the country.

40. Follow NYC for Abortion Rights on Facebook and stay tuned for upcoming organizing meetings. We need you and you need us!

Further Reading

From the archives