Abortion funds are in the headlines, and there are some things they want people to know.

By Reina Sultan, Prism

On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in a decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, a case that federally protected the right to abortion. Though the decision was no surprise due to a draft majority opinion that was leaked in May, it still devastated the country and sent doctors, patients, advocates, and others into a confusing whirlwind as trigger bans went into effect. People began searching for ways to help while abortion providers grappled with the legal implications of the fall of Roe. Things are changing fast as litigation begins in various states, but among the chaos is a constant: the abortion fund.

A hand holding a sign supporting abortion as healthcare during a rally for abortion justice.

Even before the end of Roe, abortion was inaccessible for many people. Most states have at least some limitations on insurance coverage of abortion (depending on whether the patient has Medicaid, private, state marketplace, or ACA marketplace plans). This means the cost of abortion is very often paid out of pocket, which can range from about $500 for a medication abortion to more than $1,500 for surgical abortions, depending on when during the pregnancy the abortion occurs. These fees don’t include the other costs of getting an abortion, like missed work, travel, lodging, and child care—all factors that will get more expensive as people have to travel farther to access abortions. The impact of Texas’s Senate Bill 8, which banned abortions after six weeks, can help us predict what this will look like post-Roe.

Abortion funds help people who need an abortion with all of the above, and often much more.

“Abortion funds provide a range of support to abortion seekers, including financial, practical, and emotional support … and have been [doing so] for decades,” said Helmi Henkin, an abortion rights organizer in St. Louis.

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