Speaking of Women's Rights...: 06/17

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Legal Voice Journey: Maddy Rasmussen on Her Internship & Creating The Safe Place Project


By Maddy Rasmussen

When I started at Legal Voice in the fall of 2015, I was filled with a level of excitement that nearly overran my whole body. I was immensely excited and proud to be involved with an organization that played a role in aiding all women. I knew when walking in that I wanted to make an impact on women in some way. I never realized exactly how much of an impact my project would make.

I would sit in on the staff meetings every Tuesday and I was able to hear about cases that Legal Voice was representing and discussions about news stories regarding women's rights. However, the one issue that always stuck out to me was access to reproductive healthcare, specifically abortion.

After many months of hearing about the issue and doing plenty of research on my own, I wanted to find a way to help women be able to find abortion clinics near them. In my junior year, I created a very rough google map pin pointing abortion clinics. When I reached my senior year, I wanted to be able to do something with this research. With abortion clinics and funds for abortion dwindling, the need for a resource like mine grew daily. After many weeks of brainstorming, I realized that the best possible way to present all of my information would be through a website, rather than making my map a public entity. And thus, the idea for The Safe Place Project was born.

The first few months were quite difficult. On the eve of an incoming president who was firmly opposed to abortion, I became afraid that my resource could be used against me and that I could potentially face the future that some abortion providers have to face daily.

There were days where I wanted to give up. Building a website and compiling all the data was no easy task, but I moved forward knowing that if my website was able to even help one woman, my whole project will have been worth it.

I am so proud of the project I’ve created, and so thankful to Legal Voice and Cedar River Clinics for supporting me. The Safe Place Project has already received such positive and powerful feedback from others in the reproductive health access community. Some of them are even interested in helping me keep this site going! I’ve learned so much in my two years with Legal Voice—about women’s rights, abortion access, even about myself—and I know I will continue to learn and grow as I head to college.

Please visit The Safe Place Project at www.safeplaceproject.com and let me know if you have any feedback! You can reach me at contactsafeplaceproject.com.