It’s been a few weeks since the US Supreme Court erased 50 years of established reproductive rights precedent. Cultural analyses, personal narratives and investigations that could best be described as horror stories have since predictably appeared at the top of the news cycle.
For example, pointing to Texas as a model for what’s to come, several media outlets reported on a teenage girl who found out she was pregnant with twins 48 hours before Texas’ abortion ban. Also known as scientifically inaccurate Texas Heartbeat Actthe ban went into effect in September 2021. A teenage girl wanted an abortion but couldn’t access one in her home state – a catastrophic problem that many women will soon face or are now facing.
In states where politicians foam at the mouth to criminalize not only abortion but also failed pregnancies, recently The Washington Post The op-ed highlights the real possibility that women who experience abortions will “bleed out on bathroom floors if they are afraid to get medical help” as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Recently, the nation learned of a 10-year-old rape victim who was forced to travel across state lines to terminate her pregnancy. Ohio—her home state—bans abortion after an arbitrary six weeks, which, statistically, is before a third of women even know they’re pregnant.
Since when Dobbs v. Jackson According to a decision by the Guttmacher Institute, an organization dedicated to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world, more than half of all states are certain or likely to move quickly to ban abortion. Only 16 states and Washington, D.C. have laws protecting abortion rights, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on national health issues. And it’s widely reported that the Supreme Court’s decision will disproportionately affect women of color and low-income women.
As the news broke, I immediately donated to well-known reproductive rights organizations like Planned Parenthood, from whom I sought health care in my early 20s when I didn’t have the insurance needed for cancer follow-up and general reproductive care. But I soon wondered about states under immediate threat and tried to learn more about some of the local and on-the-ground efforts to provide reproductive health care to women living in such states. What follows is a short list of organizations that want to help women in countries that refuse to recognize them as autonomous human beings.
TEA (Texas Equal Access) Fund
According to their website and social media channels, the Texas Equal Access Fund is working to make abortion rights a reality. After the abortion ban in Texas, they had this to say on Twitter:
TEA recognizes that abortions are essential health care and their donation page can be found here.
Right next to you
Missouri was one of the first states to ban abortion in the coming days Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, prohibiting emergency medical care. In Missouri, there are no exceptions for rape or incest, and according to doctors in the state, “medical emergency” is not clearly defined by law.
The advocacy group Right by You is described on its website as a “youth-focused text line that connects Missourians with abortion care, birth care, adoption and parenting support, birth control and information about their rights.” They do not provide funding directly to abortion seekers; instead, their services are informative and seek to educate youth about the full range of reproductive health care options—including abortion care. They are actively seeking both funding and volunteers to help Missourians secure access to reproductive health care. Those who hope their donations will specifically help women who cannot afford an abortion should consider donating to the Missouri Abortion Fund.
Hoosier Abortion Fund
While abortion is still technically legal in Indiana, lawmakers in that state are trying to reverse course. The Hoosier Abortion Fund provides abortion assistance (as well as other pregnancy options) to women who need their services, which include adoption services, pregnancy support, diaper programs and parenting counseling in addition to abortion support services. Those with financial need simply say so when they call their All-Options Talkline.
Women have options
Ohio bans abortion after six weeks—again, before most women even know or show signs of pregnancy—and makes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. According to abortionfunds.org—a national network of abortion funds run by individual members and supported by donations—Women Have Options (WHO) is an Ohio-based service that works with most clinics in the state. Although they do not provide aid directly to individuals, they provide grants to clinics that help patients in need of financial assistance.
The WHO, like most other reproductive rights funds, relies on grants from organizations and individuals to stay afloat and provide the best care possible for the women (and, as we saw in Ohio, pregnant children) who need it.
Kansas Abortion Fund
Because every abortion fund is different, it’s important to research how your donation will be spent. Some funds help women directly afford an abortion, while others provide logistical and practical support for associated costs. In an interview with Kansas City Star, Sandy Brown — president of the Kansas Abortion Fund — explained how her organization supports women: “A lot of the funds have practical support, which is transportation, gas, child care, housing,” she said. “We work in concert with clinics to fund abortions for people who don’t have the means to pay for abortion care.”
The Kansas Abortion Fund could also use your help, in a state where anti-choice activists are working to change the state constitution to end the right to abortion care.
On the one hand, the very need for these organizations is a maddening reminder that no matter where you live, the mistresses of our representatives will always have access to safe abortions. But it often takes grassroots efforts to bring about change in the face of those hell-bent on society’s decay. And when things get a little overwhelming, these organizations are also a reminder that there are countless people working on behalf of female humanity. By donating, we can do our part to help them.