From unplanned pregnancy to complications that threaten mother's body, pregnancy comes with a lot of challenges. However, the access to abortion is very limited in many parts of the United States due to ongoing political debate. Although sexual healthcare is healthcare, the reality is that thousands of womxn around the country have faced difficulties trying to access it. Especially after a tumultuous 2020, where many state legislators tried to revoke the already slim abortion options women had, we wanted to take an action that will push and protect the rights that womxn should have. Through Your Choice, we aim to make the information about abortion easily accessible to everyone.

What it does

Your Choice is a website that helps womxn find informations regarding abortion. From our Map page, you can access all the state pages, which will show the availability of abortion in each state. The state pages provides information about restrictions as well as show a map of available abortion clinics in that state. When you click the button that says "Click Here to Email Legislators About Abortion Laws in this State!", the pre-formatted emails are sent to senators, allowing for people to advocate for women's health rights in their states. Our FAQ page gives you additional informations regarding abortion and abortion centers, such as other services provided by Planned Parenthood and other resources that will help people navigate the process of abortion. Our About page explains our purpose and intent, and has a slideshow of images from marches in the United States that protest the current situation of abortion.

How we built it

The languages we used in this project were Python, HTML, and CSS. For the front-end, we used HTML and CSS to mimic the mockup website we created using Figma (pictured above). We included features such as a banner at the top of the website, clickable map of United States, and multiple columns in pages using. We downloaded fonts such as Sacramento and Alice from Google fonts to make our website look as similar as the mockup in Figma. The routes of the website were created using Python. The routes are connected to all the state pages as well as map page, FAQ page, and about page. To connect HTML and CSS with Python, we used Flask as a framework. We also used multiple APIs from Google Map and Gmail to incorporate a map of abortion clinics and a button to email legislators.

Challenges we ran into

The biggest challenge we faced was researching about abortion laws and centers in all 50 states and uploading all the information onto 50 different state pages. Although it was not difficult in a technical sense, it took us a lot of time and we had to carefully review mistakes made in all the pages. Another challenge we faced was learning a new skill online. Since many of our team members had never used Flask (or Python) prior to the Hackathon, we had to use online tutorials to teach ourselves a new skill. The process was full of trial and error, but we were able to build a functioning website at the end.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

First of all, we are proud of creating a website that contributes to solve a problem that millions of womxn around the world face and brings awareness to the limited access of abortion. As women, it is important for us to be able to have a choice to give birth or terminate in case of an unintentional pregnancy or complications that could harm our body. Through Your Choice, we believe we can provide people with some helpful information that will assist them in making an informed decision, that will be most beneficial for their situation. For our website, we are happy with how our front-end design turned out. It has a color scheme and fonts that communicates our intent of creating a safe place for womxn to find abortion legislation and clinics in their state. We are also proud to have created a website despite many of us learning new languages and framework. Our success roots in our collaborative working style that helped each other. While being far apart physically, we were able to communicate and work together online as if we were in person.

What we learned

We mainly learned about web development using Flask. Since 3 of us had never used Flask before, we often relied on each other and online tutorials to create our website. We also learned how to create different features such as a headline banner on HTML and CSS. Some of other skills that we earned include how to implement a clickable map of the United States into our website, how to send users to gmail from our page, and how to create our own Google maps that can be embedded into our page. In addition, because two of the team members are freshmen, some of us also learned how to push and commit a project in GitHub for the first time.

What's next for Your Choice

Since abortion is a modern political issue, we plan to keep the information on our website up to date. Other things we plan to expand in the future are:

  • Expansion of our About page by adding a separate page that will display articles regarding abortion and movements that are happening in the United States
  • Adding more informations about abortion restrictions and clinics in other countries, not only in the United States
  • Adding more information about how to differentiate fake abortion clinics from real ones
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