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If I needed an abortion, I would want to know these 5 obstacles to planning for the care I need.

This state says you have to wait, that state made it so hard for clinics to remain open that you have to drive several hours just to find one. Making the decision to abort is difficult enough, and on top of that, the extremists who are against it can make it a logistical nightmare. Here's what you need to know about getting an abortion in America.

If I needed an abortion, I would want to know these 5 obstacles to planning for the care I need.
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If you're under 18 and decide abortion is your best option, you could be in for a difficult time depending on which state you live in and whether you have supportive parental units. Some states need no parental sign-off, and others require notarized permission from BOTH parents. Hopefully you have at least one parent you can lean on for support during this time, but that's not always every teenager's reality. Here's where you can find out what the law is in your state.


If it's been less than 13 weeks since your last period, you're not going to have a hard time because of this, but if it's been longer, find out what your state's laws are so you can plan to get the care you need in the time frame necessary. Check out the gestational limits by state in the third map in this link.

Abortions cost money, and there's been a whole lot of legislative shenanigans to prevent insurance and Medicaid from covering them (it differs by state). It can range anywhere from $300 to $950, with the average being around $450. If you need abortion care and pulling together the funds is impossible, try this link.

In some states, there are fewer than three abortion providers available. Some states have passed laws that make it so difficult to meet the standards needed to operate that facilities have no choice but to shut down. Call (800) 230-PLAN to get reliable information on providers in your area, and start thinking now about how you can get the time away and transportation you'll need.

Some states have passed mandatory waiting periods (see the first map here), meaning MORE time off from work or school AND more planning/expense for transportation and child care. If that weren't bad enough, some states require you to undergo an ultrasound (see the last map here). Sometimes they even stipulate that you look at the ultrasound screen with your eyeballs for some prescribed amount of time. It's sadistic, I know. Please line up a friend or family member to support you during the procedure, and accept my woman-in-solidarity virtual hug in advance.

To go over the above obstacles with a little more depth, watch the super-useful video below. And if you think women who aren't ready to be mothers could use a little more support and a lot less degradation, please share this and show that you support a woman's right to own her own destiny.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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