February 26th, 2014
It's not the first time a woman has been forced to pawn her wedding ring to help pay for an abortion she needs. And it won't be the last.
As state legislatures continue banning abortion after 20 weeks, stories like Sarah Guler's, which Carolyn Jones tells in the Texas Observer this month, are becoming more and more common.
Sarah and her husband live in Texas. When she was 19 weeks pregnant, they received the devastating news that their baby had a brain condition that meant it would likely not survive birth. Moreover, because of the ban that went into effect last fall, they had only a week to find a doctor who could help them with their impossible choice. Sarah's own doctor was not able to help: "We don't do that here," he told her. In the end, they had no choice at all: they had to leave the state for an abortion.
February 6th, 2014
Last month, in a move sure to hurt low-income women in the largest US state, Alaska's Lieutenant Governor filed rules that would eliminate most Medicaid coverage of abortion. Alaska is one of only 15 states that currently covers abortion as part of pregnancy care under state Medicaid.
On January 29, Planned Parenthood sued the Alaska state health commissioner over the new rules, stating:
"State Medicaid in Alaska can't single out abortions and treat them differently from other Medicaid services." Joshua Decker, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest
February 3rd, 2014
Here’s another reason to be inspired by abortion fund activists: while Texas legislators are restricting access to abortion, abortion funds and other grassroots groups have been working harder than ever to help people get the care they want and need.
On January 17-19, 2014, the National Network of Abortion Funds hosted the Texas Practical Support Convening, bringing together clinics, abortion funds, practical support groups, abortion doulas, lawyers, and community organizers. The Convening was the result of months of planning set into action when Texas passed far-reaching restrictions in the summer of 2013 which have already resulted in clinic closures, leaving residents in some areas of the state with no options at all.
January 22nd, 2014
41 years after the Supreme Court affirmed the right to an abortion, what's the reality? National Network of Abortion Funds Executive Director Stephanie Poggi joined Texas abortion fund activists and abortion providers on Twitter to talk about what abortion access looks like on the ground in 2014:
January 13th, 2014
In November, a federal district court ruled that the far-reaching abortion restrictions signed into law by Governor Perry in Texas last summer could go into effect. Clinics across the state closed overnight, and suddenly volunteer-run abortion funds were faced with an avalanche of new calls in addition to their existing caseloads. How have they been coping with the increased demand?
Join Lindsay Rodriguez, board chair of Texas-based Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, in an online chats hosted by activist Katie Klabusich this Wednesday, January 15th:
January 10th, 2014
Every year, politicians in Congress use our nation’s budget process to deny coverage of abortion for women who get their insurance or health care through the federal government.
Now some politicians want to make those restrictions even harsher – and permanent – through HR 7, the so-called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act."
HR 7 would permanently codify the punitive Hyde Amendment that denies Medicaid-eligible women their right to an abortion and withhold all federal insurance coverage of abortion, putting it out of reach for many. Denying Medicaid coverage of abortion forces one in four poor women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
January 10th, 2014
In a move sure to have devastating effects on low-income Alaska residents, the state is set to begin restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion as of February 2. Currently, only 15 states cover abortion with state Medicaid funding; if these restrictions go into effect as expected, that number will drop to 14.
Alaska is a state twice the size of Texas and only has 8 abortion providers. Simply getting an appointment can be a logistical puzzle that results in expensive delays for treatment, and with so few providers covering such a vast area, women often need to book a flight to get an abortion, increasing their costs.
Eliminating coverage for abortion will further reduce access for women who are already struggling to make ends meet.
November 18th, 2013
Update: Last night's telethon raised over $54,000 for Texas abortion funds! Thank you to the New York Abortion Access Fund and Lizz Winstead for all their work organizing this event and for standing in solidarity with Texas!
November 18th, 2013
"What do you do if you need an abortion but you are too poor to afford one? For many women, the answer is: you turn to the only people who are willing and able to help—abortion funds." — Melissa Harris-Perry, 11/16/2013
In 2011 and 2012, states enacted record numbers of abortion restrictions, and abortion funds are now seeing the effect of these restrictions firsthand. Over the weekend, Melissa Harris-Perry spoke with Trina Stout of The CAIR Project, an all-volunteer abortion fund that helps women and girls in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
November 6th, 2013
Since last week's surprise ruling from the federal circuit court that closed nearly a third of Texas' abortion clinics, abortion fund volunteers have been scrambling to get resources where they're needed most. In a state with an area so large that it would engulf most of Europe, this is no small undertaking.
"We've never seen anything quite as dramatic as this," says Megan Peterson, NNAF's Deputy Director, in an interview with the Texas Observer. "With so many clinics closing so suddenly, the loss is huge."