What Abortion Funds Are and How They Work

OThe Supreme Court reaffirmed its decision on Friday Roe V. WadeConsequently, federal protections for abortion that had been in place for almost 50 years were eliminated. Roe prohibited states from outlawing abortion before viability, around 24 weeks into pregnancy, and after that time in cases when the pregnant person’s life or health was in danger. Reproductive-justice activists have requested that people donate abortion funds to help pay for the care of patients in need.

Some 26 states are poised to outlaw abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and 13 of those states have “trigger laws” in place that were designed to automatically outlaw abortion as soon as RoeThe decision was rejected. These restrictions may force women seeking abortions to cross state boundaries in order to get care.

Continue reading: We are only just beginning the fight against abortion

“If you are feeling outraged or devastated this morning by the end of Roe, you don’t have to turn to hopelessness. You can be a part of the solution,” Lauren Rankin, author of The Line: Bodies: Frontlines for the Fight to Protect Abortion Rights in America, wrote on Twitter. “Think small. Keep it local. Be human. Donate to @AbortionFunds. As a clinic escortee, volunteer. Talk to professionals. You’re not alone.”

Nina Turner, former Ohio State Senator encouraged her followers on Twitter to “donate to an abortion fund” rather than donating to any political candidate to provide the most immediate help for pregnant people in need. Jon Favreau is a speechwriter for President Obama. joined the chorusMany advocates who persuaded their supporters to donate to abortion funds and clinics as well as a legal defense fund.

Here’s everything you need to know about how abortion funds work.

What is an abortion fund?

An abortion fund provides financial support for pregnant women who want to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood estimates that an abortion could cost between $750 and $1,500 during the first three months. Some states also have restrictions on Medicaid and private plans.

Continue reading: What the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision Means for Your State

In the past few years, such funds have become a key tool for pro-abortion rights advocates. Many millions have been denied abortion due to the fact that Republican lawmakers passed state laws restricting abortion. Texas had a near total abortion ban that placed 7 million females of reproductive age less than 247 miles from abortion services. (That’s 14 times the distance they would have had to travel before the ban went into effect.)

The funds can be used to pay for travel and health expenses that some patients might not otherwise have the means to cover.

Who is in favor of abortion funds?

Many abortion funds can be supported through individual donations. In the past few weeks, a flood has occurred in terms of donations. The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF)—which, as of October 2020, included 92 abortion funds—told Good Morning AmericaIt received donations of more than $1.5million in just three days following the publication by Politico of a draft. DobbsMay 2, 2002. Their website crashed after so many people attempted to make donations. Their site crashed again on June 24, after the Supreme Court had handed down their decision.

Advocates say the donation increase is urgently needed. The NNAF states that abortion funds cannot accommodate anywhere between one-quarter to one-third callers seeking assistance for abortion. They can help with travel costs and childcare, which can prove critical as most of the women seeking them are mothers.

Continue reading: What will the Anti-Abortion States’ Abortion Providers Do After Roe?

A representative for Fund Texas Choice, which covers Texans’ travel costs to out-of-state abortion clinics, told CBS in May, before RoeThe organization was already fielding over 300 calls per month when the law was repealed. The organization had only the capacity to provide support for 130 patients. Each patient required support from $750- $1,000. They anticipated receiving more calls. RoeIt was finally struck down. High gas prices are a major factor in increasing travel costs, according to abortion-rights advocates.

What do the abortion funds actually pay for?

Every fund is different. Some completely or partially cover the costs that are strictly related to the procedure itself, like pills for medical abortions—which make up more than half of all abortions in the United States—or an in-office procedure. Due to clinic limitations, legal restrictions and financial requirements, many people seeking abortions find themselves delayed. This can lead to a delay in the termination of the pregnancy. Others funds can help cover out-of-pocket expenses such as transportation, fuel, lodging and food. You can also get other services such as translation and coordination of and payments for childcare.

A lot of abortion funds can be more precise in what they focus on, regardless of whether it is geographical (like Midwest Access Coalition), culture (like Indigenous Women Rising), and logistical (like Brigid Alliance, which assists those who need to travel long distances for abortions later in the pregnancy).

Continue reading: How to Learn About Post-Roe Abortion Pills

It depends on the fund’s policies how it connects to and approves patients who are seeking financial assistance. Certain local funds will provide finances directly to women who contact the organization, while funds like the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, ask clinics and providers to bill them directly.

This fund may be affected if there are changes to state laws. The Texas Equal Access Fund announced Friday that they are pausing funding: “Due to the uncertainty and risk of what the decision could bring, we are pausing funding today until we have had a chance to understand the decision once it is released,” the organization tweeted. The website is a directory of national clinics that they referred potential patients to.

“We are furious,” tweetedThe Jane Fund is a Massachusetts-based fund for abortion. The organization is not. assured followers that they and other abortion funds “will continue to do what we do best—fund abortions.”

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