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31 May, 2019

As Alabama Legislators Close Abortion Clinics, Chatbot Jane Sees Surge In Searches Out-Of-State.

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Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in Alabama "These bills essentially ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, usually about six weeks into pregnancy, a time when many women do not yet know they are pregnant", explains the NY Times. “We want abortions to be safe, and we want them to be few, but it should be legal, because there will be abortions,” said Senator Linda Coleman-Madison, a Democrat and one of the four women in the 35-member Senate. “The people who have the wherewithal will fly out of state,” she added. “Not everyone can afford to do that.” "All 25 votes cast in favor of the bill were from white Republican men. Only 3 women had a voice in Alabama Senate as 25 men passed abortion ban", Washington Post. Abortion Care Network The Abortion Care Network (ACN) supports care providers to ensure they can provide exceptional care to the individuals and families. "One of the most important things a person can do to ensure that they and loved ones can access the abortion care they need is to know where the closest clinics in their state and region are located. Even though independent abortion clinics provide abortion care to 60% of people in the U.S., they lack name recognition and marketing resources. If patients only know to search for well-known clinics, there's a chance they will have to travel farther than necessary or they may not be able to access abortion care at all. That is why we are proud to work with DemLabs to create the Clinic Finder tool for people to be able to more easily find the community-based clinics in their state and region. Though the text-based option only provides contact information for Abortion Care Network member clinics, it also provides a link to a broader range of clinic listings as well as listings for abortion funds, which can help with paying for an abortion", said Nikki Madsen, ACN Executive Director. Serving the people ACN is innovating with new apps to help women find clinics (often in nearby states) with an interactive map on ArcGIS Online. The map easily shared on social media and email through a link https://arcg.is/05iq91 or embedded in other web sites with a few lines of code. An SMS chatbot built with Twilio enables searches to be done with just a phone. Let's try finding a clinic near Huntsville, Alabama. The map shows that once the two existing clinics in AL are closed, women will have to travel to Atlanta (GA) or Jackson (MS). [caption id="attachment_1339" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The nearest clinic to Huntsville would be in Atlanta, if all the Alabama facilities were closed![/caption] Chatbot
chatbot is an affordable, fast way to provide information via a phone call, SMS or Facebook Messenger. ACN offers an SMS chatbot that finds and replies with the nearest clinic to the Zip Code texted in. The DemLabs team has nicknamed the chatbot "Jane" in honor of the Jane CollectiveTry using the chatbot by texting “ACN” to 202-883-4620.
[caption id="attachment_1341" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Chatbot Jane has seen a surge in inquiries with these new laws being proposed.[/caption] The Jane Collective
Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973. The Jane Collective was a group of women who worked covertly to help thousands of women of all ages and backgrounds safely have abortions. Jane was founded by Heather Booth, who as a University of Chicago student in the 1960s had helped a friend’s sister find a doctor who would do an abortion.
 
"The current attacks on abortion services are attacks on women and on health care--made for political purposes. 70% of the country does not want Roe v Wade overturned.  We need to fight to keep this service safe and legal. These ACN apps can support women looking for this care--a decision that should be made by the women and not the politicians", said Booth. Contact DemLabs to learn how to help more people for less money with innovative technology.
Deepak Co-Founder, DemLabs
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