It is not always easy or safe to be outwardly pro-abortion. People around us may be judgey, the anti-choice movement can be terrifying, and in the current legislative environment, expressing support for abortion access might increase your risk of being targeted for criminalization. SYA exists because a small number of people decided to be visible when it wasn’t comfortable or normal to do so, and that number grew and grew, and together, we made the world kinder for others to step out after us. We believe that there is safety in numbers. We want to create tools that inspire people to express their intent to defy unjust laws. We also believe that risk assessment must be done by the individuals participating in any given action, and we all must take responsibility for our own choices in this work. Above all, please listen to yourself, trust your instincts, communicate with your collaborators, and don’t do anything you don’t want to do.

Here are some more specific safety tips from movement partners:

For information on creating a DIY strategy, action planning, safety, speaking with media and more, check out this video from Reproaction.

For information on your civil rights, check out this list from the ACLU.

For straightforward information on staying safe in the face of antis, check out this helpful list via our friends at Abortion Access Front.


  • To make a security plan, we need to know who we are protecting ourselves from, with whom we can collaborate, and who can help us to stay safe.
  • We know that the antis are not afraid to get up close and physical and display horrible images.
  • Antis will try to talk at you with nonsense and hope they can “catch” you saying something false or inaccurate that they can then use
  • have an exit plan if you feel like you are in harm’s way – find someplace you can regroup, numbers for help if it intensifies, self-care, etc.


  • Generally, all types of expression are constitutionally protected in traditional “public forums” such as streets, sidewalks and parks.
  • Your speech activity may be permitted to take place at other public locations that the government has opened up to similar speech activities, such as the plazas in front of government buildings.

You need a permit if:

  • A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk, and other events that require blocking traffic or street closure, A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or A rally at certain designated parks or plazas
  • If marchers stay on the sidewalks and obey traffic and pedestrian signals, their activity is constitutionally protected even without a permit. Marchers may be required to allow enough space on the sidewalk for normal pedestrian traffic and may not maliciously obstruct or detain passers-by.


  • You may approach pedestrians on public sidewalks with leaflets, newspapers, petitions and solicitations for donations without a permit. Tables may also be set up on sidewalks
  • Do counter-demonstrators have free speech rights? Yes. Although counter-demonstrators should not be allowed to physically disrupt the event they are protesting, they do have the right to be present and to voice their displeasure. Police are permitted to keep two antagonistic groups separated but should allow them to be within the general vicinity of one another.

Law enforcement

  • Point out that you are not disrupting anyone else’s activity and that the First Amendment protects your actions.
  • If you do not obey an officer, you might be arrested and taken from the scene. You should not be convicted if a court concludes that your First Amendment rights have been violated.
  • typically they give you 3 warnings and arrest you on the 3rd warning if you don’t comply
  • Not everyone will feel safe calling campus security or police, and it is important to respect people’s decisions around involving these types of authorities. Please be aware that calling the police can be dangerous and at times lethal for BIPOC bystanders, as well as boundary crossers.