Now that the US Supreme Court is poised to do away with federal abortion protections, many are scrambling to figure out what other options are out there in case their state outlaws the procedure.
One of those might be an abortion fund, used in part to help with travel expenses.
What is it?
Simply, an abortion fund is an organization that connects people who need abortion services with the financial resources to access them.
There is a national network of abortion funds, but each is independently run to be responsive to local needs.
The funds, as the name suggests, provide money for the procedures. It also helps people navigate the barriers that exist where they live and it can provide rides to appointments or help arrange travel. It all depends on a person’s needs.
The bottom line is it can help however and wherever it can to make sure people can access reproductive health care.
Does Iowa have one?
The Iowa Abortion Access Fund is volunteer-run and connected to the national network. It exists to help all Iowa residents. Before Roe v. Wade, the fund referred patients to clinics in other states and helped them make connections. Now, it does the same thing and provides financial assistance.
Over-the-phone counselors talk privately with people who need help about what they need and what resources they have and write grants based on need. Those grants are sent to the clinic, in the patient’s name, and do not have to be repaid.
How would I get help from them?
Everything is connected through your provider—you don’t submit an application on the fund’s website. All you have to do is make an appointment at a clinic and tell the clinic you need financial help. The clinic will provide instructions for contacting the fund and the direct phone number.
Once you have the over-the-phone discussion, the fund will work directly with you and the clinic.
How do they get money?
Donations. The Iowa Abortion Access Fund is a 501(c)(3). And it encourages those who have been helped to pay it forward.
How do I help the fund?
Easy. You can go to the Iowa Abortion Access Fund’s website and donate through PayPal, by check, with Amazon Smile, or by attending one of its two annual events.
More generally, you can donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds on its website as well.
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