Pro-Choice Health Tech for the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

mobile phone roe v wade anniversary
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States, I think not just about that access to a crucial sexual and reproductive health service, but also about choice and empowerment. And about the time in my life when I had a challenging choice to make.

At age 15, there was a lot of uncertainty about what would happen with my unintended pregnancy. Adoption? Parenting? Abortion?

My family discussed the options in quiet whispers while thinking I couldn’t hear them. Finally, my mother came to me and told me that, although she did not agree with abortion, she would support me in whatever decision I made.

It would be years before I realized how incredible and loving her statement was.

My mother’s support of my reproductive choice, regardless of whether I chose to continue or terminate my teenage pregnancy, is something that sadly many women still don’t have today. While we’ve done a lot to elevate the voices of women who have had the freedom of choice, all women still need help connecting with sexual health providers in a way that’s safe and judgement-free.

Thankfully, technology is bridging that gap. Today, technology is the way most people receive their sexual health information. Apps and websites have made finding free and low-cost reproductive health services as easy as checking Facebook.

At this year’s YTH Live conference in April, several organizations will share innovative sexual and reproductive health tech that can help young people find information and make informed choices.

Safer Sex Shuffle game Sex Etc Answer

Safer Sex Shuffle game by Answer

  • Answer/Sex Etc. will showcase Safer Sex Shuffle, its groundbreaking new mobile game that delivers sexual health information to teens.
  • Advocates for Youth will present its All*Above All and 1 in 3 campaigns, which aim to transform the cultural and political landscape of abortion by combining offline organizing with online digital strategies.
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America will discuss its digital strategies for reaching youth on their phones with sex ed and unintended pregnancy information.

Other mobile apps and websites also help people obtain the information they need with complete privacy. YTH’s Health Clinic Locator app helps people find places to get pregnancy tests, birth control, and abortion services. The Silver Ribbon Campaign shares websites and organizations that support access to sexual health services and respect each individual’s personal decisions.

The movement for reproductive justice is large and wide. When a person feels empowered to make their own decisions about their health, this sense of empowerment transcends into other realms of their existence and well-being.

Anyone who’d like to get involved in the reproductive justice movement can check out Illinois Caucus for Reproductive HealthChoice USA, and the National Abortion Federation.

As we remember and reflect on Roe v. Wade and the continued fight to protect the right to choose, let us not forget that that many people still need access to reproductive health services. The work of support and encouragement—and advocacy—is overwhelmingly heart warming and purpose filling.

And, importantly, is never done.

Gloria Malone photoGloria Malone (@GloriaMalone) is a member of YTH’s Youth Advisory Board. She’s a freelance writer and former teenage mother who advocates for the rights of pregnant and parenting teens. Gloria created Teen Mom NYC—a blog for teen moms by a teen mom. She lives in New York City with her daughter and is a senior at Baruch College. +Learn more about Gloria

Creative Commons image by Janis Petranis.

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ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.