Abortion Rights are Under Attack: Support Abortion Funds
Abortion funds are grassroots organizations that are locally rooted and predominately volunteer-powered. They aid in removing financial and logistical barriers that people face when trying to access abortion care, while simultaneously advocating against the political and cultural barriers that make their work necessary. Abortion funds pay for abortions, pay for and organize transportation to appointments, arrange childcare and housing, and some even provide emotional support through doula access. Yamani Hernandez, Executive Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), talks to us about the importance of abortion networks during a time where abortion access across the U.S. is facing a blatant attack.
The existence of Roe v. Wade has never ensured a promise to abortion access. Decades of anti-abortion strategy, the current administration and Supreme Court, and the resurgence of anti-science misinformation about abortion care has culminated in states passing unconstitutional abortion bans at a fast pace. These abortion bans are strategically passed so that they eventually reach the Supreme Court in an effort to totally overturn Roe v. Wade.
Anti-abortion lawmakers and activists are using extreme, emotional language in order to aid in the passage of these bans, including terms like “post-birth abortion,” and “heartbeat bans.” These terms are meant to be inflammatory and confuse and manipulate the general public in order for fantastical legislation to be passed. These bans are also deceiving and scaring people into thinking that abortion is currently illegal in their state, and that is not the case. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states.
The people that will be disproportionately impacted by these restrictive laws are people of color, people with lower incomes, people who live in rural areas, and people who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Abortion funds are set up to have extensive knowledge of the intersectional ways these communities will be impacted by lack of access to abortion, and are therefore best able to guide individuals when their access is impeded. Individuals and sub-groups, like the Auntie Network, who attempt to take on the responsibility of getting those who require an abortion into the hands of a provider can often times obstruct access. That infrastructure already exists with abortion funds.
Many have called for boycotting states like Georgia and Alabama in response to the recent abortion bans that have been passed, but this discounts the ways in which people living in Alabama and Georgia, including those seeking abortion care, are impacted by a boycott. By attempting to punish state legislators, boycotts would take away job opportunities for local communities.
Abortion funds are critical during this time of extreme restrictions to abortion care. They exist on the front lines of access, and do constant on-the-ground, local work in ensuring access to care for people around the U.S.
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