Episode 1: A Prayer for Choice

Led by the dynamic Reverend Daniel Kanter, a passionate group of clergy, counselors, and volunteers run a travel program that helps Texas women, transgender men, and non-binary people circumvent state restrictions on abortion healthcare. The group shepherds up to 20 individuals twice a month to New Mexico to terminate their pregnancies. On this trip, an 18-year-old Latina mother, who wants to provide a stable future for her toddler takes the journey.

The travel program is a partnership of First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center, Southwestern Women’s Options, and New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. The travelers fly to New Mexico, meet with counselors, are provided a meal, and given transportation to an Albuquerque clinic. The physicians provide accurate and safe healthcare information and abortion pills to end their pregnancies. Individuals can exercise autonomy over their bodies and family planning through the dedicated support of those who run and volunteer for the travel program.

 

Special thanks to the Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, TX, Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, NM; Dr. Cutis Boyd and Dr. Glenna Boyd; and the Reverend Kanter and The First Unitarian Church of Dallas, and all the volunteers. Also, thanks to the New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Dr. Bhavik  Kumar, and Planned Parenthood; And to all those who shared their stories with us. Some names have been changed to protect identities.

 

Since this episode was recorded, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. The changing legal landscape in Texas means that some groups in Texas are changing or pausing their operations. Specifically, The Southwest Surgery center in Dallas has been forced to stop providing abortion services until further notice. The clinic will remain open to offer other reproductive healthcare. Also, note that the doctor in this episode uses the abortion pill brand name Mifeprex and later refers to it by the generic name Mifepristone. They are the same drug. If you have questions about abortion pills, go to https://www.abortionfinder.org/abortion-types/pill.

This podcast was brought to you by Population Media Center. Executive producers are Lisa Caruso and Alex Demyanenko, with co-producer Kathleen Bedoya and associate producer Dominica Ruelas. This episode was field produced by Joanna Friedman with production services provided by Red Cup Agency and story producing by Olivia Aylmer. Research assistance was provided by Sarah Field Bullion and production coordinating by June Neely. Impact strategy was led by Charity Tooze. Narration by Tatiana St. Phard. Music by Val Ortiz.

Episode Partners

New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Albuquerque, NM

Fund TX Choice

Austin, TX

Texas Equal Access Fund

Dallas, TX

West Fund

West Texas

The Afiya Center

North Texas

Clinic Access Support Network

Houston, TX

Lilith Fund

Austin, TX

Jane’s Due Process

Austin, TX

The Bridge Collective

Austin, TX

Buckle Bunnies Fund

Austin, TX

First Unitarian Church of Dallas

Dallas, TX