Sometimes it's hard to understand just how restrictive laws covering women's access to reproductive healthcare can be. A video just released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) helps to clear up the confusion by cleverly comparing computer tech support to abortion access.
When comedian and writer Cirocco Dunlap's computer crashes in the video skit, she calls technical support. The employee manning the help line tells her she has to wait on the phone for 72 hours before it can provide any service to her computer. In reality, there are currently 27 states that require women to wait at least 18 hours following their initial appointment before exercising their reproductive rights. And there are four states (North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota and Utah) where women have to wait at least 72 hours.
After waiting on the phone for three days, Dunlap's character is told that her nearest computer service center in 147 miles away. In the real world, new state laws are closing many abortion clinics, and six states (Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming) only have one abortion clinic each.
While on the phone, Dunlap also listens to a government-mandated recording from her male state representative about her computer repair.
"Hello, there," the male state representative said in the recording. "You're calling to request a female computer service, but are you sure that's what you want? Sure, I don't know anything about you or lady computer users or how they work, but because I disapprove of your choices, here are some false, but scary implications of your actions. Using computers causes cancer in ladies, says no reputable source I can find on the Internet, but I feel like that's true. Because I don't feel that you're capable of making decisions for yourself, we're going to require you to make a separate, but totally unnecessary trip to the service center before we allow you to come back for the services you need."
The video ends with an important message: "Abortion is a constitutional right, but a right with no access is no right at all."