This week we had a client ask us how to get help in paying for an abortion. This client wanted us to call the national helpline for them and said the clinic would not call for them. We explained only the client could call to apply for funds, with rare exceptions.
When she told us the clinic had given her a 1-800 number to call but it was always busy, we encouraged her to try again. This time the call went through and the client was able to start the application process. It is like so many things in life, when you have witnesses things not previously working seem to work.
We get requests for information about financial assistance about once a month. We reached out to EMW Women’s Surgical Center to verify the procedure they would prefer. This week we confirmed with them nothing had changed.
There are a lot of organizations who help with funding abortions, but there are steps a client needs to follow.
1. The client needs to secure assistance themselves. Their companion and/or family members usually cannot call for them. Escorts cannot approach the clinic or call to help the client obtain funds. The staff at EMW Women’s Surgical Center will help clients navigate the process, but they cannot apply for them either. Always refer client questions about applications to the clinic.
2. The client needs to ask about financial assistance at the time they schedule their appointment. Clinic staff will then give them the 1-800 number for National Abortion Federation (NAF). This link includes their helpline number, but a client must have an appointment before calling them. There are operators to assist who speak English, French and Spanish. During the call to NAF, clients will be asked for personal and financial information. The answers to these questions will determine how much money NAF will commit to their care.
3. What if NAF doesn’t commit to enough funds to pay for the abortion? They usually do not. The NAF helpline will give the client directions to call the the clinic back for additional assistance information. The clinic will talk to the client about A-Fund assistance. The client needs to call the clinic and confirm they have an appointment, a commitment from NAF and still need additional money.
4. Any money committed from NAF or the A-Fund is paid directly to the clinic on behalf of the client.
5. What if the client still needs additional money? There are several organizations who help with funding listed on our “How to Get Involved” and “Reproductive Services” pages. However, once a client has applied to NAF and the A-Fund it is usually not necessary to apply to any other organizations.
6. What if a client still has questions? A client may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions and we will find the answers for them.
When we hear the personal stories from clients about why they need financial assistance and why they have made the decision for abortion, escorts want to assist them. The reality is there is nothing we can do to expedite the process.
Thankfully, the whole application process is handled quickly and professionally by the EMW clinic staff, NAF, A-Fund and all of the other organizations who offer funding. Most clients are able to secure funding commitments the same day as their appointment.