Abortion funds play a critical role in abortion justice by providing financial and logistical support to those seeking abortion services. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, more and more people need practical support traveling to receive the care they need.
Those of us in abortion rights, health, and justice work know that legal has never guaranteed accessible. Even when abortion was legal in all 50 states, it was never truly accessible to most people because of racial, economic, legal, and geographic barriers. This is why abortion funds have existed for decades at local, regional, national, and international levels.
If you work with patients or clients who might seek an abortion, it’s critical that you get to know the abortion funds and practical support organizations serving your community. Here are five things to know about how abortion funds can help the people you serve access the safe, legal abortion care they need and deserve.
- Abortion funds provide funding in the form of grants that clients do not need to pay back. Many funds also provide practical support including transportation, childcare payment, lodging, translation services, abortion doulas, and more.
- Most abortion funds operate through a hotline (where a staff member or volunteer answers their call) or a coldline (where the caller leaves a voicemail). The purpose of these intake calls is to gather only essential information needed to assist the person with accessing abortion care. Your clients will never be asked to “prove” they need financial support. They will always be treated with dignity and respect.
- Abortion funds are autonomous in structure, and they don’t all operate the same way. Some funds will require the person requesting support to have an appointment or will connect directly with the abortion provider. Other times, abortion providers will submit requests for funding on behalf of a patient. Each local abortion fund may work a little differently; get to know the one in your area to best assist your clients.
- Abortion funds frequently partner up! If your local fund isn’t able to fully assist a caller, they might call in additional resources to help a client traveling across regions. There are also incredible regional organizations, including our partners at Access Reproductive Care-Southeast, who work directly with clinics and patients in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Abortion justice takes all of us working together!
- Funding and practical support is unfortunately not guaranteed. Abortion funds, like many nonprofits in the abortion justice space, are stretched incredibly thin. Even before Roe was overturned, the National Network of Abortion Funds reported they were only able to fund 35% of their 229,510 callers in FY20. You can make a difference by connecting with your local abortion fund and asking what they need in the form of donations and/or volunteers.
Abortion justice takes all of us working together to help our clients navigate the changing reproductive health landscape. If you’re seeking additional training and support to deepen your role in abortion access, connect with Provide today.
- Brigid Alliance: The Brigid Alliance is a referral-based service that provides people seeking abortions with travel, food, lodging, childcare and other logistical support. Brigid Alliance prioritizes clients beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy for whom it’s generally more expensive and harder to find a provider near home.
- National Network of Abortion Funds: NNAF is a network of approximately 70 organizations that work at the intersection of racial, economic, and reproductive justice to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access. These organizations work with clinics to help pay for abortions and assist people having abortions with transportation, childcare, translation, doula services, and lodging. Visit the NNAF website to find out which resources are available in your state and to learn more about how donations to NNAF will directly support abortion access for people in need.
- AbortionFinder’s State-by-State Guide: This public, abortion seeker-facing resource includes the most recent updates for U.S. states—laws, providers, and more. Available in English and Spanish.
- INeedAnA.com: A comprehensive and vetted site with up-to-date and personalized info on where and how to get an abortion. No search or user data is saved. Available in English and Spanish.