The nomination of a certain Supreme Court justice (who shall remain unnamed) has left many people, this author included, thinking about choice.
Texas is already one of the most difficult states to obtain an abortion, with the large size of the state and the small number of clinics available to women in need creating a crisis situation for women’s health and leaving most of us feeling powerless to help. Fortunately, for the next month, there’s a delicious and effective way for us Texans to raise awareness (and funds!) for critical issues surrounding women’s healthcare and reproductive choices: the Taco or Beer Challenge.
Here’s how it works: During the month of September, the Taco or Beer Challenge encourages people to support women’s access to abortion and comprehensive reproductive health care by taking a photo of you drinking beer and/or eating tacos, and then donating to an abortion fund.
As Aimee Arrambide of Fund Texas Choice points out, “Tacos are very appropriate and relevant to all Texans in every community. Most Texans share tacos or beers with their friends, colleagues, and families and what better places is there to have a conversation about abortion.” She hopes that the ToBC will help Texans destigmatize conversations about abortion care. “If one in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime, everyone loves someone that has had an abortion,” she says.
Amanda Williams, of the Lilith Fund, agrees: “ToBC brings a fun lens to an issue that can be complex to talk about. We hope people understand that abortion doesn't always have to be hard or uncomfortable to talk about; that we can have meaningful conversations about abortion in casual and light-hearted spaces while enjoying good food and each other's company, too. Culture change is only possible if we're actively normalizing abortion and the experiences of people who have them.”
In addition to normalizing conversations about the logistics and challenges keeping Texas women from safe, legal abortions, both The Lilith Fund and Fund Texas Choice plan to use funds raised by this year’s Taco or Beer Challenge to directly help women in need access abortion. “We're always working to increase our budget for the direct services we provide to our callers. Right now we're providing funding to about 25% of our callers. We know we can do more, but we rely on the support of our community to make it all possible,” says Williams.[image-2-right]
She adds, “We're also gearing up for the Texas legislative session and working on the local level to create systemic policy change. It's an uphill battle but we're trying to fight at all angles. We recently became a plaintiff in the People's Lawsuit to fight back against an array of longstanding abortion restrictions in Texas. Donations go directly to our direct services, but it also helps free up our capacity to focus on our movement building work.” Arrambide agrees: “The majority of our ToBC donations will go directly to helping our clients access abortion care through accommodation, travel, or logistical support in the forms of hotels stays, airplane tickets, bus tickets, and other support.”
So now that you’re sold, time to head out for some tacos! Arrambide likes Taqueria Vasquez, while Williams is a fan of Veracruz All Natural, which she calls, “Woman-owned, authentic, and delicious!” Follow their lead, and then use the #ToBC18 hashtag to let friends and followers know you support women’s rights and delicious snacks.
For more information about the ToBC, see their website.
For taco and beer suggestions, see our First Plates 2018 winners.
For our ongoing coverage of the war on women’s health, see our archive here.
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