Downloading new browsers and paying for a VPN may not be accessible to everyone, and in those cases it’s still a good idea to clear your search history and use incognito mode when you’re online (although this isn’t a full guide). provides protection). your privacy). “Clearing your history and cookies will greatly reduce police access with a warrant,” says Rebecca.
You may also want to turn off your phone’s location services in certain situations, e.g. B. When you go to a reproductive health clinic to talk to a doctor. And it’s probably best to only use private, vetted health apps for period tracking, like Euki, says Rebecca.
“If you’re talking to people about having an abortion, use an encrypted app like Signal and encrypted email like Protonmail,” she adds. “If I wanted to save my abortion plan somewhere, I would send it from my protonmail to my protonmail to save in this inbox.”
Set up a Google notification to keep you informed of changes.
With all of the changes taking place, it can be difficult to keep track of the abortion treatment legal landscape, Wynn says. Still, “it pays to keep an eye on your state’s abortion laws,” she says. If you want to stay current and up-to-date, you can set up a Google alert with phrases like “abortion law.” [insert your state name here]’ or ‘Abortion [state name]’ to send you the latest news.
There is one caveat though: it really depends on what you can mentally handle. “There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there,” Heather Shumaker, director of government access to abortion at the National Women’s Law Center, tells SELF.
If you feel like you’re having trouble handling the message cycle lately, this might not be the best way for you. Instead, Shumaker recommends regularly consulting the National Women’s Law Center or the Guttmacher Institute, where you can get up-to-date information without having to read every pesky headline. The Guttmacher Institute has a constantly updated interactive abortion map that charts abortion laws in the United States and can help you with them. Another good resource is Planned Parenthood, which also has a state guide. Check back at least every few months to see if there have been any major changes you should be aware of.
Have some inexpensive pregnancy tests ready.
“It can be a good idea to make sure you have some pregnancy tests on hand in case you need them,” says Wynn. “The sooner you know you’re pregnant, the sooner you can weigh your options.” While pregnancy tests can be expensive and expire over time, you can usually buy them at your local dollar store at a hefty discount, which is what makes it a more practical option to store them.
This is especially important now that some states have bans on abortions as early as six weeks — when most people don’t even know they’re pregnant. As soon as you suspect that you might be pregnant, it is best to take a test. Most home tests can detect pregnancy around 10 days after conception, but waiting until the first missed period reduces the chance of a false negative result, according to Mount Sinai. Wynn simply recommends checking the tests for the expiration date, which is usually stamped on the side of the box, and following the instructions for storing your tests properly.
Find out the nearest abortion clinic in your area.
Shumaker says it’s “really important” to know this before you find yourself in a situation where time is of the essence. This is true if you live in a state where abortion is banned, but also for people in states where abortion is widely available, as wait times for appointments can be much longer due to the influx of people from neighboring states. When you’re seeking an abortion, “every moment counts,” she says, and trying to find a clinic is one less thing to worry about if you do some research now to plan ahead. Doing this research in advance can also help you avoid organizations called crisis pregnancy centers, which pose as abortion providers but “exist only to discourage people from having abortions,” Shumaker says. Some telltale red flags are not clearly stating if they perform abortions, having abortion sound really dangerous, or showing ads asking if you’re pregnant, scared, and need help.