This 18-Year-Old Created A Comprehensive Guide To Abortion Access In The US

Proving reproductive rights are a lottery in the States

MOST POPULAR

However much you care about reproductive rights, keeping track of closing Planned Parenthood clinics across States (and what stage various anti-abortion legislation is at) is near impossible, as well as kinda depressing.

So if you're a woman who finds herself pregnant in the US, you can imagine how confusing the information you receive is and how difficult it must be to know where to start when you want to access an abortion.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

There are truly heartbreaking guides on how to plan abortions in so called 'surveillance States' like Indiana, which have used women's private messages and search histories to convict them of feticide and child neglect in the case of miscarriages or at-home abortions.

But even if you aren't in a surveillance State, women may be unsure who they can turn to for un-biased information on terminations, as well as consolidated information on location, waiting times and cost of abortions in their state.

Simple stuff, right?

Cue Maddy Rasmussen's website, called the Safe Place Project.

The 18 year-old was interning at a women's rights organization called Legal Voice, when she developed the site for a school project.

The website, which even has an 'Escape to Google' tab for someone who might want to jump from the page quickly, describes itself as a 'safe, non-biased place for you to obtain information about abortion care near you.'

Maddy explains her journey to creating the site, which saw her sitting down for hours with a mentor, trying to decide what she cared about most,

When we moved to the topic of abortion access, something inside me just clicked. I knew this was the perfect project for me and it was something that was really needed with all of the negative stigma around abortion.

She created a map of all the abortion clinics in her junior year, and in the senior year added extra information about access,

I quickly realized the map wouldn't be enough. Finding an abortion clinic near you can be potentially hard depending on what state you live in, but identifying the state restrictions on abortion can also pose some challenges. The only possible way for me to feature all of these additional resources would mean that I would have to create my own website, which is how my senior project was born. After working tirelessly with both my mentors, I was finally able to release this map to the public. My ultimate goal for this project was for it to be a safe place where women could find an abortion clinic near them and assess their state's restrictions against abortion.

Can someone give this girl a seat in the god damn Senate?

Once on the site, you can look on a map or a list of where the abortion providers are in each state, then look at the legal restrictions state by state.

The restrictions vary and come under the umbrellas, 'counseling requirement', 'waiting period' and 'parental notifications'.

There are a handful of progressive states which don't have any legislative restrictions, like Washington, New York and Hawaii.

However, the vast majority do, with states like South Dakota (which has one clinic serving a state so big it could fit Switzerland, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands in it combined) requiring counseling, a 72 hour waiting period (which is not counted over holiday or weekends) as well as minors needing to notify a parent at least 48 hours before the abortion.

The user-friendly, un-biased site not only helps woman make informed decisions with their body, but also shows the bleak reality many women in the US face when attempting to gain body autonomy.

If this website doesn't make you feel angry, and this teenager not make you feel slightly inadequate (we generally just hung around parks and thought about ourselves, aged 18), then we don't know what will.

Keep doing your thing Maddy.

More from ELLE UK: