Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Ms. has been covering the ongoing battle over reproductive healthcare access that we’ve been committed to fighting since our founding.
We’ve heard from abortion providers on the ground; argued that abortion is “essential” healthcare; and monitored the ways in which politicians have used the pandemic as a ruse for pushing forward their anti-choice agendas.
Recently the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) released a video—illustrated by Molly Crabapple and narrated by ‘Top Chef’ host and activist Padma Lakshmi—entitled “Everyone Loves Someone Who Had an Abortion.”
The video outlines the necessity of abolishing stigma around abortion, the ways in which politicians have attempted to prohibit our constitutionally-guaranteed right to reproductive healthcare, and the importance of abortion funds.
What are Abortion Funds?
Abortion funds—like NNAF, the Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP) and others—are necessary nonprofit organizations that provide financial, logical and emotional assistance to low-income women who aren’t able to afford the cost of an abortion. Though an abortion fund is unlikely to be able to cover all the costs of an abortion, they determine need on a case-by-case basis and connect women to resources that could help them access even more money.
These funding organizations typically operate with a small staff and rely on volunteers to take calls from women inquiring for help paying for an abortion. They typically work with clinics directly to assist those who require financial support.
And in light of the pandemic, they’re needed now more than ever: Since the onset of the pandemic, abortion funds have reported a major uptick in calls, especially from patients who must commute long distances to get abortions, typically traveling from abortion-hostile states.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, women in Alabama, Texas, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee have been subject to Republican politicians’ attempts to use COVID as an excuse to limit abortion access by labeling the practice “non-essential.” Clinics have been forced to keep up with the political ping-pong in states like Texas, where abortion bans seem to constantly be flipping between lifted and enforced.
Abortion funds rely largely on donations from individuals and organizations who believe that reproductive healthcare should be accessible to all, no matter their class, gender or immigration status. As a result, abortion funds do not check for documentation or proof of citizenship when assisting those who require their help.
In this time when accessibility to reproductive healthcare is under threat, it is more important than ever before to support organizations that are fighting to keep abortion available to all.