President's Message
I recently received a note with a donation from a man on the East Coast. He wrote, “Thank you for your important work. It is heartening that the tragic death of Dr. Tiller has not ended the availability of services in your area. The bulk of my contributions go to similar organizations closer to home, but what impresses me about the Second Chance Fund is that it is volunteer-run. Wow!”

Being an all-volunteer fund can take a toll on us, since many of us work and have families. Would you like to volunteer in some capacity? Perhaps at our prochoice booth at the Kansas State Fair? Your skills can be very valuable to us and I can tell you, volunteering to help women obtain abortion access in this state is tremendously rewarding. We hope to hear from you!

Sandy Brown

A new documentary, Trapped, by Dawn Porter follows clinic workers and lawyers on the front lines of the battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women.

Since 2010 state legislatures have passed over 288 laws that impose measures on abortion providers far beyond regulations required for other medical providers. Unable to comply with these medically unnecessary laws, clinics have taken their fight to the courts.

In 2016 the Supreme Court will rule on the issue of whether individual states may effectively outlaw abortion. (See related article on the current brief before the Supreme Court.)

Trapped is a must see. It will open in theaters March 4, 2016.
Texas Policy Evaluation Project
Since 2011 the Texas Legislature has enacted several laws-HB15 and HB2- that restrict and limit funding for contraception and abortion services. The Texas Policy Evaluation Project is a collaboration between teams of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, Ibis Reproductive Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. These researchers are studying the impact of restrictive legislation on women’s reproductive services.

One research brief on the impact of the effects of HB15 concludes that since the implementation of the law, abortions have declined largely due to having to schedule two clinic visits, rather than a 24-hour waiting period or ultrasound viewing. The extra visit adds burdensome costs for women who are already financially challenged.

In a November 2015 Research Brief, the project reports on Texas women’s experiences with self-induced abortions. After HB2 was introduced in 2013, Texas women had fewer clinic choices.  Only 18 of the 41 clinics operating in April 2013 remain open today. This brief details the reasons for self-induced abortions, methods used to induce, and abortion outcomes. The top two reasons that women in Texas tried to self-induce were lack of finances to travel to a clinic or pay for a procedure, and their local clinic closed. Self-induction methods largely fell into two categories—home remedies (herbs, teas, vitamins etc.) and medications obtained in Mexico (Cytotec and its generic, misoprostol).

To read more about the impact of restrictive legislation on Texas women’s reproductive health, log on to http://www.utexas.edu/cola/orgs/txpep.

One in three American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. However, given the stigma surrounding the termination of a pregnancy, few women choose to discuss the subject in public. That’s what makes this particular brief, filed in advance of the Supreme Court hearing in March to consider dramatic restrictions in abortion accessibility, so amazing.

In the brief, women lawyers tell their personal abortion stories.  By doing so, they explain to the justices how exercising their right to abortion allowed them to continue with their studies, their practice of law and their lives as women in our society. Their stories testify to the fact that abortion is not limited to women of lower socio-economic status, but is experienced by all women.

Per Ruth Marcus, reporter for The Washington Post, “the most powerful part of the brief is a 10-page appendix listing the 113 signatories: corporate lawyers, partners at major law firms, retired judges, law professors and law students who each took the brave step of going public with her decision to have an abortion.” (Washington Post, January 26, 2016)

The hearing (Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt) on Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law takes place in March. Over 40 briefs have been filed in advance.

“I don’t have the right words to express my appreciation for your help in paying for my abortion. My own family wouldn’t even help me, but you did. Thank you, thank you.”

“I found out that my baby had an anomoly which means she was going to die after birth, or before. This was a very difficult decision for my husband and me, but having the abortion was the right thing to do. Thank you so much.”

“Dear Peggy Bowman—last week I felt that my life was over. This week I got my life back!”