Figuring out how to get an abortion is complicated and stressful. It can be a needlessly confusing, isolating, and scary experience. The Online Abortion Resource Squad (OARS) helps people get the information and support they need by meeting them where they are: on the Internet.
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Most people turn to the internet for help when they need an abortion. There they are met with a confusing maze of outdated information, conflicting advice, and misinformation. Search results are manipulated by the anti-abortion movement. It’s difficult to know what is trustworthy or up-to-date. Overwhelmed and unsure what to do next, thousands head to Reddit.
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What is Reddit?

An anonymous and worldwide resource for information and discussion, Reddit hosts 130,000+ discussion forums – called subreddits – spanning every imaginable topic from niche hobbies to deeply personal struggles. More than 250 million people use Reddit each week, making it one of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world. Reddit is popular because it allows people to anonymously seek information, community, and tailor-made advice from peers and a subreddit’s volunteer moderators, who run each forum and enforce community rules. The 24/7 availability of Reddit makes it a go-to platform for those seeking immediate, anonymous, and easy to access advice on abortion, especially at times when the abortion landscape is rapidly changing.

r/abortion

We started OARS in 2019 because people were going to Reddit for abortion help and they weren’t getting accurate, helpful information and support. We run Reddit’s abortion forum (r/abortion), a critical resource for people most impacted by restrictive laws and barriers to access. Over the past five years, our team of volunteers has transformed this online space into a global support community for people who are considering, currently having, or have had abortions. Every day, more than 6,000 people from around the world visit this space in search of information, assistance navigating their options, answers to medical questions, emotional validation, and the chance to share their abortion stories without stigma or shame.

What does OARS do?

We train abortion experts to provide this support so that no matter where you live or what time of day you log on, you can get the help you need to access a safe abortion. OARS volunteers help people navigate global and local abortion resources in the context of their circumstances, priorities, and values. Working in shifts around the clock, our volunteers help people acquire the skills and knowledge to help themselves and help others. Our peer-based counseling model is designed to provide accurate and supportive information, assisting individuals in navigating the maze of (often misleading) information found on the internet regarding abortion.
This support model—where future, current, and past abortion seekers are in conversation with one another–is unique to our platform. Where a hotline does this work one caller at a time, helping people anonymously navigate this process in public helps countless more. When you post on Reddit, both the question and response are public, allowing thousands of others to benefit from the information shared and from the knowledge that others have the same feelings.
On r/abortion, people realize that they are not alone. The on r/abortion underline the emotional and logistical support this community provides, showcasing the real impact OARS has had in helping individuals through emotionally taxing and logistically challenges accessing care.
on the subreddit has skyrocketed as abortion bans make it harder to access care and as words spreads about the quality and reliability of the advice shared in this space. OARS is doing something critically necessary in this confusing, constantly changing abortion landscape – meeting people where they already are online – and providing abortion-seekers with two things they need but cannot get anywhere else:
Support, accurate information, and easy-to-understand answers to their questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
A stigma-free space where they can connect with others who understand what they are going through and what they need to get through it

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