As anti-abortion sentiment gains political momentum, Berkeley Law’s Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice (CRRJ) is redoubling its commitment to protect a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.
The center heads the Self-Induced Abortion Legal Team, a consortium of organizations that use law and policy tools to ensure that women can legally end their pregnancies outside the formal health system. Created two years ago, it is the nation’s only advocacy group of its kind, says CRRJ Executive Director Jill E. Adams ’06.
“We turned our attention to this after seeing arrests and prosecutions throughout the states for alleged self-induced abortion,” Adams explains. “The political climate has people concerned about the inaccessibility of clinic-based abortion care, and the criminalization of self-directed abortion care. No one should fear arrest or jail for ending their own pregnancy.”
A 2015 study by academic researchers reported that between 100,000 and 240,000 women in Texas have tried to end their pregnancies, mostly by self-administering herbs or abortion pills purchased online. The most common reason women cite for needing an abortion, Adams notes, is poverty and inadequate resources to care for a child.
“Our vision is that all pregnant people have access to a range of safe, legal, affordable abortion methods,” she says.