Combating Threats and Expanding Access: What’s at Stake for Reproductive Freedom

This is the most pivotal moment in decades in the fight for reproductive freedom, and NARAL Pro-Choice America and our 2.5 million members in all 50 states are ready to meet it. We work each day to organize and mobilize for access to abortion care and birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination. We’re working toward a future where each of us—no matter who we are, where we live, or what we believe—has the freedom to make our own decisions about whether to start or grow a family, and where those decisions are treated with respect and dignity. Since 1969, our member-driven campaigns have propelled political and cultural change at every level, from statehouses to the White House. Our members were critical to electing reproductive freedom champions in 2020, with 132 NARAL-endorsed candidates winning their seats. We leveraged those historic wins in 2021 to help expand access in states such as California and Nevada, and to support House passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)—historic legislation that would safeguard the federal right to abortion. And we leveraged the election of President Biden and Vice President Harris to engage our members in support of access to medication abortion care by urging the Food and Drug Administration to temporarily suspend in-person dispensing requirements on medication abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undertake an evaluation of all the medically unnecessary restrictions on medication abortion.

All of this progress happened in no small part because of the support of CREDO members like you.

While we celebrate the wins of the past year, we can’t afford to stop mobilizing for our freedoms. The anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case about Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. If the Court were to overturn Roe tomorrow, 26 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright. Twelve states already have “trigger bans” in place, which would ban abortion automatically if Roe is overturned.

And in 2021, anti-choice state lawmakers across the country enacted 106 restrictions on abortion access—more attacks in any year since Roe was decided. This includes draconian measures like Texas’ SB 8, which not only outlaws abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant, but which also breeds vigilantism and encourages individuals to take legal action against anyone who helps someone access abortion care in the state.

The threats to reproductive freedom are coming from every angle. In the face of these threats, NARAL has a bold and ambitious agenda for the future. We are leveraging all of our resources to stop the torrent of bans and restrictions from anti-choice lawmakers in states across the country—while also advancing proactive policies. We’re pushing for policies that would advance reproductive freedom and abortion accesss for every body—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they make. This includes working at the federal level to pass WHPA through the U.S. Senate and ensuring that the president’s budget robustly funds programs that support reproductive freedom and excludes restrictions on abortion, including discriminatory coverage bans.Realizing a future where reproductive freedom is truly for every body means creating lasting change in our culture and our communities. That’s why we work every day to:

  • Combat anti-choice disinformation and amplify accurate facts about abortion.
  • Train NARAL members across the country to run their own Action Councils, organizing in their local communities and beyond to advance reproductive freedom.
  • Collaborate, striving to be good allies to and work with our partners to maximize impact.
  • Be intentional and transparent in our efforts to dismantle systemic racism and hold ourselves accountable in centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our organization and our work. 

But that’s not where NARAL’s work ends. We recognize that 2022 is critical to our futures—for reproductive freedom and for democracy. Democrats only have control of Congress by a razor-thin margin as we head into the midterm election cycle. So NARAL and our 2.5 million members are working to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot—champions who don’t just agree with the 8 in 10 Americans who support the legal right to abortion, but truly fight for it—and hold accountable lawmakers who put reproductive freedom on the line.

As abortion rights and access face an existential crisis, we must take bold action to secure reproductive freedom for every body. NARAL and our members were made for this moment—and we won’t back down when our rights are on the line. 

With CREDO funding, Transgender Law Center continues the fight for liberation

The Transgender Law Center is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for our rights.

In April, CREDO members voted to distribute $43,530 to TLC, and the organization has since secured important progress and victories for transgender and gender nonconforming people, including supporting TLC’s general operations including impact litigation and legal support; organizing and movement building; and policy advocacy, public education, and narrative change work.

Here are some highlights of the organization’s recent work that was supported in part by CREDO members:

To learn more, take a moment to watch two great videos highlighting TLC’s recent work, including a 2021 overview “We are transforming the world. Join us” and “Gender Justice Leadership Programs: Show Up For Trans Youth”

If you’d like to get involved with TLC, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Carbon180 is helping pull CO2 from the sky

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to both rapidly reduce emissions and remove the carbon that has been accumulating in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. But it doesn’t end there — we can use that carbon to enrich our lands, catalyze new industries, and foster prosperity for all.

A Suite of Solutions

Carbon removal is a suite of practices and technologies that pull carbon from the atmosphere. This includes land-based pathways, such as soil carbon sequestration, and tech-based pathways, such as DAC (or direct air capture). There are also hybrid solutions that draw on the carbon-removing potential of both land and technology, such as BECCS (or bioenergy with carbon capture and storage). 

A variety of solutions means a variety of benefits. For example, CO2 sequestered in soils makes for healthier and more resilient farmland, increasing crop yields and reducing the need for fertilizer. Carbon removed with DAC machines can be transformed into carbontech products like fuels, chemicals, building materials, and even carpet. 

Carbon Removal on the Rise

Since 2015, Carbon180 has been at the forefront of a rapidly evolving carbon removal landscape, advocating for a once obscure climate solution that is now considered a critical piece of climate action. In 2018, we moved our HQ from California’s East Bay to Washington, DC to dedicate our work to federal policy change. Today, we partner with policymakers, scientists, and businesses to develop and advocate for carbon removal legislation grounded in environmental justice and the latest science. 

Federal funding for carbon removal has increased from a few million when we were founded six years ago to hundreds of millions today. These funds go towards research, demonstration, and deployment to scale the full suite of carbon removal solutions. 

We’re in Business

Today, there are a number of companies both investing in carbon removal and working to develop these solutions. Stripe made its first carbon removal investment of $1 million in May 2020, and a year later committed $8 million to six carbon removal companies. In September 2020, Shopify announced their Sustainability Fund, investment portfolios in groundbreaking carbon removal efforts for the short and long term. Microsoft committed to becoming carbon negative by 2030 and, by 2050, remove all of their historical emissions since their founding in 1975. Part of their approach is using their platform to support policy initiatives that accelerate carbon removal and emissions reductions. 

Alongside businesses investing in carbon removal, there are many new companies innovating across the spectrum of solutions. Climeworks and Heirloom are committed to evolving direct air capture for permanent, affordable removal. Climeworks just unveiled the world’s largest DAC facility in Iceland, while Heirloom is setting mineralization in motion to remove 1 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2035. Mineralization has great potential in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness — the CO2 that Heirloom extracts via DAC chemically reacts with naturally occurring material to create a mineral that permanently stores carbon. 

A Carbon-Removing Future 

Robust policies that support a full portfolio of carbon removal solutions are necessary to actualize our vision of an equitable and sustainable carbon-removing future. Climate change is here, and BIPOC, low-income, and other frontline communities are experiencing disproportionate impacts. As we scale carbon removal, it’s paramount that we equitably distribute benefits, engage with communities, and thoroughly analyze socioeconomic impacts. Carbon removal is a necessary component of climate action, but it’s critical that scaling these solutions is done right — dismantling instead of contributing to existing inequities. 

The Carbon180 blog and Twitter post regular updates on all sorts of happenings in the carbon removal field. You can also check out our website to learn more about carbon removal and subscribe to our weekly and bimonthly newsletters.

Our November grantees thank you for your support

Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups working for human rights, climate justice and workers’ rights. In November, CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Amnesty International, Earthworks and National Domestic Workers Alliance.

These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our November grant recipients thank you.

Amnesty International
$50,232

“Thank you for your continued partnership! CREDO members like you help support Amnesty International’s mission to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights. Together we can create a world in which every person enjoys the full range of their human rights.”

To learn more, visit https://www.amnestyusa.org.

Earthworks
$52,627

Thank you! You are standing in solidarity with activists fighting fossil fuels and dirty mining. You are advancing policies to reduce climate super pollutants like methane and promoting the use of sustainable minerals in clean energy technologies.” – Jennifer Krill, Executive Director, Earthworks

To learn more, visit www.earthworks.org.

National Domestic Workers Alliance
$47,141

“Thank you! Support from CREDO members like you helps us to advocate for the rights of the domestic workers who do the essential work of caring for our loved ones and our homes and to transform the way care work is understood, valued, and compensated.” – Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

To learn more, visit http://domesticworkers.org/.

Now check out the three groups we are funding in December, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.

CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.

How to travel safely and (mostly) stress-free this holiday season

This holiday season, people are on the move, eager to travel to see friends and family and make this year look more like 2019 than our pandemic holiday season last year.

Travel sites are seeing spikes in traffic and bookings, and AAA predicts that more than 53 million people will travel over the holidays, the biggest one-year increase since 2005. That also means crowded airports, standstill traffic and frustrating delays.

Yet, unlike 2019, we’re still coping with a lingering pandemic, with new variants on the way, and that’s making traveling a bit harder and more stressful. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips to make your trip safer and maybe even help reduce our anxiety a little bit on the way.

Continue to take pandemic precautions 

First things first: Masks, social distancing and hand hygiene continue to play an important role to keep you and those around you safe and healthy

Masks covering your mouth and nose continue to be required on public transportation, like planes, busses and subways, for most people and circumstances, regardless of vaccination status — so be sure to pack extra for your trip. The Centers for Disease Control have a number of recommendations and suggestions for what kinds of masks you should buy and how they should properly fit. Consider wearing high quality masks like N95, KN95 and KF94 when you’re in crowded indoor areas where you do not know others’ vaccination statuses.

And speaking of vaccines, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated people should delay travel until they are fully vaccinated, not to travel if they are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, and if not vaccinated, to get tested before and after traveling. 

If you are traveling internationally, you must check whether or not the country you enter requires proof of vaccination or a negative test. Right now, we are not aware of any location that requires a booster shot (but if you are able to get one, it’s a very good idea.)

Store your vaccine record on your phone

Depending on where you are traveling, you may need to show proof of vaccination during your travels, at a port of entry, or to enter a food or entertainment establishment. The easiest way to prove your status is by showing the physical copy of your vaccination record, but there’s a chance you could lose or damage that precious card during your travels.

There are a lot of alternatives to carrying the paper record with you, and most of those involve — you guessed it — your smartphone. You can take a photo of the card or use an app or smartphone wallet that stores your digital vaccine record. We highlighted a few ways in a recent post on how to store your vaccine record on your smartphone.

Be honest with yourself, family and friends

We all have different levels of risk tolerance when it comes to the pandemic, and it’s important to communicate those to the loved ones you’re visiting long before you begin your travel, to avoid last minute stress and confusion and ensure everyone is comfortable and feels safe.

Questions that you can ask yourself and your loved ones include: 

  • Should everyone be vaccinated and/or tested prior to your gatherings? 
  • Will anyone quarantine before the visit?
  • Will people feel comfortable indoors without masks?
  • Will anyone who is too young to be immunized or immunocompromised be present? If so, how will you ensure their safety?
  • What are the parameters of the gathering, like how many people will be present, how long will it be indoors, and will everyone agree to the rules you set?

The CDC published some guidance on safer ways to celebrate the holidays, which includes some suggestions on avoiding large crowds, moving large gatherings outdoors, if possible, and other considerations.

Reduce travel stress and anxiety

Traveling during normal times was already stressful — and it’s much more so today — so taking a moment to reduce your anxiety can really help make a difference. When things get a little overwhelming, it might be time to step back, take a break and manage our own stress and anxiety levels. 

Check out this list we recently curated suggesting some apps to help you manage stress and anxiety.

 

Vote for Carbon 180, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Vote.org this December

Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This December, you can support climate justice, reproductive rights, voting rights by voting to fund Carbon180, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Vote.org.

Carbon180

Carbon180 is on a mission to fundamentally rethink carbon. We work alongside lawmakers to design policies that remove carbon from the atmosphere and offer co-benefits to communities on the frontlines of climate change.

CREDO funding will go directly to realizing full-scale carbon removal, an absolute must for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

NARAL Pro-Choice America

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its 2.5 million members fight for reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body.

This is a defining moment for reproductive freedom. CREDO’s support will allow us to empower our members to use their voices, to protect and expand abortion access at the state and federal level, and to mobilize to elect reproductive freedom champions.

Vote.org 

Vote.org is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan voting registration and get out the vote technology platform in America, registering over 6.6 million voters and helping users keep track of deadlines, polling locations and other essential voting info.

Funding from CREDO members will help us contact historically excluded voters across the country, providing them with the information, tools, and support they need to overcome systemic hurdles and participate in the 2022 midterm elections.

Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by December 31.

CREDO members who use our products and services everyday are the reason we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile and CREDO Energy and join our movement.

CREDO 2021 Grantee Holiday Gift Guide

Are you still searching for the perfect gift for someone in your life? You’re in luck!

We’re pleased to present our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide, featuring gifts by some of our recent grantees. Not only will you find a great and affordable gift, you’ll help support the causes you care about, like voting rights, reproductive freedom, civil rights and climate justice.

So without further ado, check out this year’s holiday gift guide and find a special gift this holiday season.

Vote.org — “Vote From Home” Socks

Our partners at Vote.org work to simplify political engagement, increase voter turnout, and strengthen American democracy with the goal of reaching historically underserved voters of color and underrepresented young voters. In 2020, that meant helping over 3.4 million voters request mail ballots so they could safely vote from home. 

Help them spread the word with these cozy made-in-the-USA Vote From Home socks, then head to Vote.org to request your mail ballot for your next election.

Amnesty International — 60 Years T-Shirt

Amnesty International was founded in 1961 on the idea that together people can change the world. Today, Amnesty is a worldwide movement for human rights, calling on the collective power of our members, each one committed to fighting for justice, equality, and freedom everywhere. 

Join Amnesty in celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with our limited-run collection of merchandise, like this 60th Anniversary T-Shirt and check out more great merch at https://shop.amnestyusa.org/

Fight for the Future – Digital Rights Sticker Packs

Help someone in your life show their support for digital rights on their laptop and more while supporting an organization that is leading the fight. 

Go to Fight for the Future’s store to find their full collection of stickers and other merch including hoodies, beanies, posters and more. The stickers are printed on durable, high opacity adhesive vinyl which makes them perfect for regular use, as well as for covering other stickers or paint. The high-quality vinyl ensures there are no bubbles when applying the stickers. These stickers make a great gift for the tech policy nerd in your life. 

NARAL Pro-Choice America — NARAL Beanie

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its 2.5 million members fight for reproductive freedom for every body. Each day, they organize and mobilize to protect that freedom by fighting for access to abortion care, birth control, paid parental leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination. Its member-driven campaigns have propelled political and cultural change, from statehouses to the White House. And since 1990, CREDO voters have shown up for NARAL’s work, helping send $700,000 in support. This December, NARAL is thrilled to again be featured by CREDO.  

At the NARAL Pro-Choice America store, you can pick up all sorts of merch for the movement, including a NARAL Beanie. This super soft, stretchy beanie fits most heads and sends everyone you meet a message they can’t ignore: it’s time to expand abortion access. You can also pick up bags, stickers, face masks, and even fanny packs to show your support for reproductive freedom. 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum — AAPI T-Shirt

There’s a misconception that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are a ‘sleeping political giant.’ But AAPI women are awake, aware, and activated. 

By purchasing this t-shirt, you can support AAPI women nationwide in NAPAWF’s fight for a more just world. Together, we can be a force for change. 

Slow Food USA — Swag Kit

Slow Food is a global network of local communities that believes in uniting the joy of food with the pursuit of justice. The organization is committed to transforming the world to guarantee good, clean and fair food for all.

This holiday season, consider bidding on a Slow Food USA Swag Kit including t-shirt, tote bag, bamboo utensil kit, and snail pin — or another item in their auction catalog.

We’re donating 250,000 meals this Thanksgiving, thanks to CREDO members

While many of us have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, many families will find themselves at a food bank in search of a holiday meal. Last year alone, the number of people facing hunger rose to 38 million, including nearly 12 million children.

That’s why we’re donating 250,000 meals through our partnership with Feeding America as our very small way of giving back this Thanksgiving.

This donation is made possible by our loyal customers who use CREDO Mobile products and services every day — at no additional cost to them — and goes above and beyond our regular $150,000 monthly giving to the causes we all care about.

We simply can’t thank you enough for helping to make this donation possible. From our CREDO family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

-The whole team at CREDO Mobile

 

How to stop annoying and dangerous spam text messages

Spam text messages — they’re certainly annoying and definitely dangerous, as scammers are using more sophisticated techniques to get your personal information and take your money.

And the number of spam texts sent to phones across the country is skyrocketing. Scammers are on track to send a whopping 86 billion spam texts this year, with a projected financial loss of $101 million to consumers.

With a little bit of preparation, savvy and trusting your instincts, you can do your part to stop these spam texts and protect yourself from scammers. Check out a few ways to keep yourself safe from these annoying texts today.

Common spam texts

First, let’s go over some common spam texts that you might receive. These can range from an offer for free perk from a cable provider, a message from an “acquaintance” who wants to meet up, a notification from a bank that your account is closing or your credit or debit card is locked, or even a request to set your FedEx delivery preferences. 

Spam texts are almost always unwanted and unprovoked messages from senders you don’t know, so be on high alert when you receive a message from someone not in your contact list. If it feels like a spam text, it’s probably a spam text.

Never, ever click the link

In the above scenarios, which are called “smishing” or text phishing, the scammer wants you to reply to the text or click a link that directs you to a malicious site, which looks like an official website, to steal your data or install dangerous software to your phone. The sender may even be using a fake phone number to look like it came from the official source or from within your area code.

Whatever you do, do not reply or click the link, unless you are absolutely certain that the sender is who they say they are. Legitimate companies will never ask for your account information over text message. If you think the message may be real, call the company directly using a phone number you know is real or from its official website (not any number provided in the text) and inquire whether the text message was authentic.

Be careful replying with STOP 

In the past, if you’ve received a text message from a business and didn’t appreciate it, you may have replied with “STOP,” the way a legitimate business will unsubscribe you from their texting program. 

But if you’ve received a spammy text, you’re likely dealing with a scammer, who is probably attempting to break the law, so it’s pretty unlikely you will be removed from the scammer’s texting list. In fact, replying to the scammer could flag your phone number as active and open you up to more spam messages.

If you are sure the text originated from a real, ethical business (Google the number it to find out), you can reply with STOP. However, if you are uncertain, your best bet is not to reply to the text at all, and jump down to the next step.

Block the number & delete the message

You’ve received a spam text. You didn’t reply or click the link. Now what? Block the number then delete the text, so you don’t accidentally click or reply in the future.

All newer phones have the option to block a phone number from contacting you. However, this can turn into a game of whack-a-mole, since scammers can switch up their phone numbers frequently, but it’s still worth blocking the number from contacting you again. Here’s how to block a number on Apple and Android devices.

Use a Third-Party Spam Call & Text Blocker

If all else fails — and it might — a third-party app to identify and block annoying spam texts is a great option.

These apps enhance the caller ID functions of your phone, employ large blacklists of spam numbers to automatically block calls and texts in real time, along with other blocking features. Some apps are free with limited bells and whistles, while the paid apps have more robust features and customer service, which also comes with a monthly or yearly user fee.

Some popular spam blocking apps include Hiya: Caller ID & Spam Blocker (Free on iOS & Android), Nomorobo ($1.99 per device, per month + a 14 day free trial), and RoboKiller ($39.99/yr + 7 day free trial).

Report the spam message

You can report the message right from your messaging app to your device manufacturer, which in theory should help them improve spam blocking, as well as reporting the message to the authorities. 

For Apple devices, if you receive a text message from someone not in your contacts, you may have the option below the message that reads “Report Junk” which will report the message to Apple, but will NOT block the number. You will still need to block the number.

For Android devices, open the Messages app > Touch and hold the conversation > Tap Block > Report spam > OK.

You can also report the spam text to Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov.

 

How to quickly make an emergency call with your smartphone

You hope you never have to do it, but someday you might: Making a call to your local emergency services.

We all know about dialing 9-1-1 directly, yet there are a couple ways to make it even faster and more convenient right from your home or locked screen, which can be especially helpful in an emergency situation.

In this tip, we’ll show you how to be prepared today if you ever need to call emergency services in the future.

In case of an emergency, your smartphone is the best tool to call for help — and with some preparation now, you’ll be ready to make a call quickly if an emergency arises. It may also be a good idea to memorize these steps so you won’t have to think twice during a fast-moving situation.

How to make an emergency call on iPhone

From the lock screen

If your phone is locked and you are unable to unlock it, you can quickly make an emergency call from the passcode screen by tapping “Emergency.” This will bring up a keypad from where you can dial 9-1-1.

Enable Emergency SOS

Emergency SOS is a feature built into all newer iPhones that allows you to make an emergency call almost instantly by pressing two buttons simultaneously on your phone. To use this feature, make sure you are running iOS 11 or later; the latest iOS is 15, so you probably are, but read how to find out which version you’re running and how to update it.

 Now, here’s how to enable and use Emergency SOS:

  1. For iPhone SE or iPhone 8 or later: 
    • This feature should already be enabled on your phone. To make an emergency call, click and hold your side (or top) button and either one of the volume buttons until a screen with a slider labeled “Emergency SOS” appears. 
    • Drag the slider to the right to make a call. Alternatively, your iPhone will make an audible alarm and begin countdown before it automatically makes a call.
    • To turn off the countdown, go to Settings > Emergency SOS and tap the toggle next to Countdown Sound.
  2. For older iPhones:
    • Quickly press your side button five times in a row, then drag the Emergency SOS slider.

For more information and limitations of this feature, visit this help article from Apple.

How to make an emergency call on Android

On Android devices, you can quickly make an emergency call by bypassing your lock screen and without unlocking your device. It may different depending on the manufacturer or model of your phone, but with Android, making an emergency call is very straightforward:

  1. If your lock screen is enabled, tap “Emergency call” at the bottom of the screen.
  2. When the dialer is visible, dial the number for your local emergency services, like 9-1-1.