In August 2022 a longstanding abortion clinic in Bristol Tennessee closed and a new one opened in Bristol Virginia, just one mile away. This move symbolized how state lines would demarcate the legality of abortion after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Bristol has now become a pivotal location in the fight for abortion rights—the subject of much media attention and a target of anti-abortion extremists. Geographically, this small city is the closest point of abortion access for a huge swath of the South and Greater Appalachia, while also being a conservative stronghold; Bristol and many surrounding counties gave Republicans and their anti-abortion platform over 80% of votes in 2020.
Still, Appalachia is not a monolith. Over the past five years, a network of dedicated pro-abortion activists has flourished in the Bristol area, publicly engaging the community and safeguarding abortion access. To better meet the immense challenges of the current reproductive health landscape in this region and beyond, 2023 marks the founding of State Line Abortion Access Partners (SLAAP) as a 501(c)(3) organization.
The mission of SLAAP is to promote and protect abortion access for individuals in Southwest Virginia and anyone who travels to the region for abortion care. This includes advocating for policies that ensure access to medication and surgical abortion and reproductive health care, supporting the needs of patients seeking abortion care, engaging in community outreach and education, supporting and collaborating with other organizations that share our values and goals, and tracking and exposing sources of misinformation.
SLAAP also seeks to improve the availability of comprehensive, fact- based information about reproductive health care in general for people living in our region, and address the lack of access to this care due to poverty.
Your support will help us carryout this critical work, as well as publicly and visibly hold space for progressive and intersectional movement building in Appalachia.