The Pasque Project is a three-part, community-based knowledge-generating project coordinated by three, small CBOs in South Dakota: Help for Huhas; HAPPY; and SD Faith in Public Life. It is fiscally sponsored by Innovations in Reproductive Health Access. Our leaders will spend the next two years generating knowledge of the needs and preferences of SD populations that face structural barriers to abortion access, including youth (especially Native youth), immigrants, and rural Dakotans. We will gain knowledge through interviews, surveys, and focus group discussions, and will build organizational capacity by updating a key database of contacts of leaders in rural communities. Then we will share back the results through accessible formats, including low-literacy social media (with graphics and animation), as well as in meetings, and through op-eds, in order to elevate the voices and needs of immigrant, youth, indigenous and rural South Dakotans.
Learning more about our most vulnerable communities’ needs and preferences on abortion access is especially critical during a key election year when a constitutional amendment to overturn SD’s current abortion ban will be on the ballot. We want these voices to be part of that larger conversation. Our leaders include two young women of color, one of whom is also an immigrant, and a Jewish leader with strong ties to both minority religious and Christian leaders throughout the state. At a time when many activists, including those for our local abortion fund, face potential criminalization and are working in emergency conditions, this work is both timely and important.