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Abortion Access Hackathon at Buzzfeed, NYC

28 Hours + 100 People + 13 repro justice orgs + BuzzFeed  = Abortion Access Hackathon NYC

The third Abortion Access Hackathon brought over 100 coders and reproductive health professionals together at BuzzFeed's Manhattan offices for three days, Sept. 15 - Sept. 17th.  Hosted by the Abortion Access Hackathon, the goal was to solve real world access issues presented by abortion providers and advocates. The event was sponsored, in part, by A is For and the Abortion Conversation Project.


Over 10 regional reproductive health groups pitched ideas Friday night.  Teams paired with a reproductive health advocacy agency or clinic to develop a solution to meet specific needs.  Folks worked all day Saturday, and Sunday. Lady Parts Justice League's Julie Rosing emcee'd Sunday's demos.

In New Orleans, the minimum wage is $7.25. Abortions start at $400. The state doesn’t pay for abortions. Federal insurance doesn’t cover the procedure. The New Orleans Abortion Fund fills in the gap. Team New Orleans Abortion Fund redesigned the NOAF website to better suit its mission, and streamline fundraising.

ExposeFakeClinics is a new site that acts as a hub for crisis pregnancy center information, and hosts creative/effective actions that anyone can do from home.  A crisis pregnancy center advertises as a place to go for pregnancy help. In reality, they are religiously affiliated anti-abortion centers with a mission to often offers only anti-abortion counseling, limited services or free home pregnancy tests. A joint venture between Abortion Access Hackathon and Lady Parts Justice League, the ExposeFakeClinics campaign launched this summer with a Week of Action, with support from 40+ reproductive health groups. Team #ExposeFakeClinics created new tools for the site. 

The Hackathon featured an ExposeFakeClinics break-out space for hackers to call an area crisis pregnancy center, ask about abortion, and write an honest review about their experience. Representatives from 10 partner organizations gave 5 minute talks on their work. 

We all know Congress has spent the past 5 years to de-fund Title X clinics. But...when did abortion restriction start? Fun fact - abortion only began being legislated in the late 1880s.  Abortion was prohibited in the US until the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case. Swiftly after, restrictions began popping up again. The National Institute for Reproductive Health asked for a visualization of abortion restrictions since 1973. Team Abortion Restrictions rose to the challenge with an interactive infographic that will be distributed to NIRH partners and media.


IPAS offers a perspective on abortion access outside of the U.S. Working from Latin America to India, they focused on how to adapt client exit interviews for low literacy folks to increase privacy and use fewer resources. Team Hearing Women's Voices' project will be piloted later this year.


In Texas, if you’re 15 and need an abortion without parental involvement, you have one option - Judicial Bypass. This process can take weeks. Jane’s Due Process offers a hotline to volunteer support to walk folks through the steps - offering emotional support and expertise. Team Pigeon created a better process for scheduling volunteers, and streamlining communication between shifts, on the hotline.


Raising money can be a full-time job. For non-profits, having a direct connection to the granting body is powerful. Team Grant Access worked with clinic escorts and fundraisers to create an informed solution - explore your own networks to better reach grant decision makers. 


The Knoxville Abortion Doula Project is a volunteer group of individuals committed to offering non-judgmental emotional support for abortion patients in East Tennessee. This team made the calling center more text friendly, allowing for anonymous two way texting communication, maintaining the privacy of clients and doulas.

Attendees worked on the The Women's Medical Fund's request for communication development tools. As the only abortion fund serving southern Pennsylvania, WMF is poised to amplify the real needs of Pennsylvanians.


The National Network of Abortion Funds provided feedback and support for each team.

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