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'Auntie networks' organizing in Connecticut and beyond to provide abortion help

Activists Continue To Gather Outside Supreme Court After Historic Overturning Of Roe v. Wade
Nathan Howard
Getty Images North America
Abortion rights supporter Lilly, who declined to give a last name, watches the sunset near the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, erasing a federal right to an abortion.

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to end the constitutional right to abortion has spurred the growth of groups organized to provide resources for people needing help getting an abortion in states where the procedure remains legal. They’re called “auntie networks.”

One auntie network founder, who asked that her name not be used because of concerns about her safety and possible prosecution, said her network is now getting nearly 50 messages a day from people in Connecticut and across the country who want to help.

The founder said she had been homeless and subsequently had an abortion – a decision she said was the right one for her.

“Everyone tried to talk me out of it,” she said. ”That was the best decision I made for myself, and for my life, and for my circumstances and for everything.”

Now she wants to be the “auntie” to others that no one had been to her when she needed help. Her network is organizing to provide places to stay and transportation for people traveling to get an abortion.

“There’s just so much that we can do,” she said. “I’m hoping we can do even more.”

Her auntie network didn’t start with the Supreme Court decision. She says she’s been “secretly helping” people in the homeless community and those living in poverty with abortion-related services since 2016.

”Some of us have been doing this a long time,” she said. “Some of us are doctors, lawyers, you name it. Our goal is to really make a difference.”

Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.
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