The stakes are high in Louisville and both sides are dug in. As I am driving into Kentucky I hear an interview with a US Senator named Tom. Tom recounts his fundamentalist background and says that a top agenda item is to… “repeal Roe vs. Wade…and defund those killing our youngest citizens.” For the first time in Kentucky’s 225-year history Republicans hold a super majority, and despite campaign promises not to go after non monetary issues, state legislation on reproductive rights is coming fast and furious. There are bills requiring ultra sounds, extending waiting periods, and defunding Planned Parenthood. And the list is growing rapidly.
Luckily the team at the ACLU has been studying the restrictive bills being passed and is well prepared. I love their determination but given the current political climate they have their work cut out for them.
Like its neighbor West Virginia, Kentucky, which had 17 clinics in the 1970’s, is recently down to just one clinic. On the ground Meg and a team of other volunteers escort women who wish to avail themselves of these services past protestors and into the clinic. In fact they do so much more in providing assistance but that will be on another post.
Amazingly Meg has been doing this for 17 years. Being new to all this I think about that. What cause would I believe in enough to donate a significant amount of my time for 17 years? You just do not see volunteer commitment like that every day!
Meg tells me about what women have to endure entering the clinic. Aside from the catcalls and guilt trips, she says: “in a small state many women are recognized and the protestors will actually call their mothers and friends to tell them that they saw so and so entering the clinic”. Since the clinic is 3 hours away from some border towns, Meg tells me stories about the hardship women, often traveling with small children, had to endure to exercise their reproductive rights. She even tells me of a survivor of sex trafficking that needed extra help.
One of the most important ways to help is to supply gas cards for those who need them. So if you have any lying around please contact me and I will get them into the right hands.
Note: The powerful picture above is from an exhibit at 21c in Louisville The exhibit is called the Future is female: https://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/museum/exhibit/the-future-is-female/