Our first Donor Spotlight of 2019 is on Shruti, a professor of international law at Indiana University and a loyal supporter of All-Options’ Hoosier Abortion Fund! Shruti has been an All-Options champion since she moved to Bloomington several years ago, and we love her story about how becoming a mother inspired her to start supporting All-Options. Read on to learn more about Shruti!
How did you first learn about All-Options and what inspired you to make your first donation?
Right after I moved to Bloomington, Indiana, my sister sent me a magazine article she had read about All-Options with a note saying that it looked like an amazing organization and that it was located in Bloomington! I put the article aside actually for a while because I had a baby a few months after moving to Bloomington and was busy preparing for and adjusting to motherhood. After my daughter was born, however, I felt it was more important than ever to do whatever I could to help build a society where she and the children around her would be able to have the all of the rights and opportunities that I have had, and much more. As a mother, I don’t want my daughter to be denied healthcare or other opportunities just because she was born in Indiana. I also want her to grow up surrounded and inspired by people who are working for positive change and towards a world where all women are valued. Finally, I wanted to learn about my new community and meet people here, so I started attending events related to reproductive justice. I quickly realized that All-Options is a driving force for reproductive justice in this community, and was inspired by the people I met and the work that All-Options does. I couldn’t think of a better way to meet all of these goals for my daughter, myself, and my community than to donate to and support All-Options.
In your opinion, what is the most important work that All-Options does? What makes All-Options a unique resource or sets it apart from other reproductive justice organizations?
All-Options understands that reproductive justice encompasses all areas of a woman’s life, and is uniquely committed to a holistic approach to providing healthcare and other services whenever a woman needs it – not just when she is pregnant, or right after she has a child, or when she has a physical manifestation of a problem. All-Options supports women in all types of life transitions and decisions, and takes a truly intersectional approach to its work in recognizing that different people have different needs that cannot be served by one-size-fits-all policies or services. To me, this shows that All-Options truly both values and respects women and families.
How would you like to see All-Options grow in 2019 and in the following 5 years? What does All-Options look like to you in 2024?
I hope that All-Options can expand both its services and locations to meet the growing and deep demand for its services. I’ve lived in both Northern California and Indiana, and each place has a spot in my heart. I love that All-Options works in both places, and I hope it can continue to connect and build strong ties between these regions. I hope that more people in California can learn about what is so wonderful about Indiana, and vice versa, and that All-Options can help forge strong relationships between people from each region. I think we all have a lot more in common than people sometimes think!
Do you have any kind of anecdote or story about why you’re moved to support All-Options?
The first time I visited All-Options in Bloomington, one of the peer advocates told me that the All-Options Talkline receives calls from all over the United States, and even from out of the country. As he described this work to me, another volunteer started playing with my daughter, who was delighted by the glitter-filled nail polish bottles in the lobby. To me, that experience was emblematic of the unique ways that All-Options fills so many urgent needs. It provides crucial services for women around the world, all from an office in Bloomington, where every person who walks in the door is treated with respect, kindness, and warmth, and even the most ordinary moments or objects are valued.
Tell us a little bit about you – what you do in the world, what your hobbies are, whatever you’d like to share. What’s one things others would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a professor at Indiana University Bloomington, where I focus on international law and women’s human rights. I love reading, travel, and spending time with family and friends. One of my goals is to travel to and live in as many countries as I can. So far I’ve lived in Japan, China, Finland, the U.K. and Malaysia.
What other movements, causes, and/or organizations are important to you and why?
I’m passionate about women’s international human rights and immigrants’ rights. In the U.S. as well as other countries, immigrant women are some of the most vulnerable to legal and political attacks on fundamental rights, and I want to help raise awareness of how dismantling the rule of law in the immigration and asylum systems hurts all women’s rights. For example, the legal protections we have developed over time in the United States to address violence against women are being eroded in our asylum laws and this erosion is also spreading to and damaging the protections we have for women throughout the United States.
If you could have anyone over to your home, living or passed, who would it be and what would you make them for dinner?
My Dad passed away recently, and I would give anything for one more dinner with him. I can’t cook at all, so I’d make him tea and tell him how his wife, daughters, and granddaughters are doing and introduce him to the granddaughter he never met. He and my mom raised three feminist daughters, and I’d love to ask how he did it, and what advice he would have for raising a confident feminist daughter!