A year after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, a nonprofit is coming to Texas to show residents in the state how they can still access abortion pills. MayDay.Health is opening a pop-up information store in Bastrop, Texas today and tomorrow with posters and QR codes that can assist Texans on how to access birth control, emergency contraceptives, and abortion pills that can be mailed.
MayDay Health is a 501(c)(3) health education nonprofit that is one of the top information providers about how to get abortion pills, even in states like Texas with bans. In March they set up several mobile billboards that were promoting how to access abortion pills online.
The Signal spoke with Mayday President Dr. Jennifer Lincoln ahead of the Bastrop store opening. For Lincoln the date and venue were important. “We chose Texas because we feel it’s a state where people are scared because they are so concerned about the penalties and the law today,” she said.
Even before the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe, Texas had been under a nearly total abortion ban with Senate Bill Eight. With this pop-up, Mayday can show residents in the state that can safely and legally access basic healthcare. “We can use the most American right, which is free speech to show [Texans] how they can still access safe legal abortion with FDA approved medication,” said Lincoln.
According to Lincoln, every month since Mayday launched last year, Texas users have generated the most traffic to their website. She also said there have been spikes around abortion-related events like when a Texas judge ruled that FDA approval of mifepristone (one of the two drugs used in a medication abortion) was unlawful. In April the Supreme Court nullified the Texas ruling.
New polling from Ipsos earlier this year shows that abortions bans are overwhelmingly unpopular. In fact, two-thirds of Americans believe that medication abortion should remain legal, including 67 percent of Independents and 49 percent of Republicans.
The Bastrop pop-up will only be for two days, but Lincoln and her team at Mayday are hoping to inspire reproductive activism. They are also advertising a website where anyone can download the same posters and QR codes in the pop-up. “Anybody can use free speech to resist and fight back against abortion bans,” said Lincoln.
June 24 is the official one-year anniversary of the decision that upended abortion access in the United States. In Texas, the consequences have been dire. According to the Commonwealth Foundation, Texas is the third worst state for women’s healthcare. A lawsuit was also filed in May by the Center for Reproductive Health on behalf of five women who were denied access to abortion care.
One of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit was Amanda Zurawski, who was pregnant last year but unfortunately had a condition that prematurely dilates the cervix. The treatment she should have received was denied to her because of the abortion bans in Texas and she went into a septic shock. She testified about her ordeal to the Senate in April. She also participated in a roundtable with Vice President Kamala Harris this week. Since the initial filing of the lawsuit challenging the opaque nature of when an abortion can be performed to save the life of the mother, several women have joined.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).