According to Planned Parenthood, 99% of sexually active women will use some form of birth control in their lifetime. Some women live in parts of the country where access to reproductive healthcare is affordable and located nearby. But many women don’t — an unplanned pregnancy can mean finding childcare, taking days off of work, and driving for hundreds of miles to get to the nearest clinic. (And in the case of states where there is a “waiting period” for abortion, a woman has to do it all again a few days later.)
To mimic the experience of these restrictions on women’s reproductive healthcare, Fusion animated one woman’s decision-making process with an interactive game called “Fertile Ground: An Interactive Journey Through an Unintended Pregnancy.” The game asks players to “imagine you’ve traded lives with a young woman in South Dakota, on the cusp of an important decision. Her fate is in your hands. Change her life at the end of each chapter.”
Why South Dakota? Because there is only one abortion clinic in South Dakota and it is only legal to perform abortions there up to 14 weeks into pregnancy. The state is currently considering a ban that would make obtaining an abortion even more difficult. ThinkProgress reports that the state is advancing a bill that would use “vague and biased language to describe the abortion procedure” that could have a chilling effect on doctors who perform abortions.
But back to our story: Our character has just had sex that resulted in a broken condom. Will you track down Plan B (the morning-after pill) or just assume all is well? Whichever path you choose, your “adventure” leads you to multiple pharmacies, doctors, hours of travel, and expense. It’s worth your time, and just as important, worth sharing Fertile Ground.
To find the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic to you, visit https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center.