With reproductive health services under attack, people want to help. People want to step up to stop the flood of laws designed to keep us from being able to access abortion. People want to offer support to people needing to terminate a pregnancy. Every week, new people reach out to us for information about being an escort. And we love having new faces joining us every week.
But escorting is only one small aspect of the support that people seeking abortion care need. TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) and the distortion of informed consent requirements have created huge barriers that go beyond harassment on the sidewalk outside the clinic. Lack of money is one of those barriers.
Did you know that in Kentucky, Medicaid only covers abortion in the case of rape, incest, and danger to the woman’s life? And that even in those cases, the patient has to pay for the abortion ahead of time and try to get reimbursed later? (Emphasis on “try,” since this is difficult, if not impossible, to do.)
Did you know that, by law, private insurance cannot cover abortion in Kentucky? That’s right, even insurance companies that cover the cost of abortion in Illinois, for example, are barred from doing so in Kentucky.
Did you know that the cost of abortion care in Kentucky starts at around $700? TRAP laws that require the clinic to meet unreasonable and unnecessary standards of care are part of the reason the cost is so high. Most people in need of abortion care don’t have an extra $700 handy. People deplete any savings they may have, borrow money, pawn belongings, don’t pay the rent, skip meals, and take all kinds of drastic steps to pay for an abortion. And of course the need is time sensitive. The longer it takes to get the money together, the higher the cost is likely to be.
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that help with funding abortion care. One of these is A Fund. As their brochure explains, A Fund, Inc. is a nonprofit organization directed and staffed by volunteers who raise money to help Kentucky girls and women in need of funding for abortion. They say:
The typical woman we serve is the sole support of two children and knows she cannot afford a third child. She does not have a credit card. How can she raise the $600-$750 cash (minimum) needed to terminate her pregnancy?
The volunteers at A Fund believe that no one should be denied access to abortion because of a lack of money. Last year, they raised about $50,000 and helped more than 400 women. Virtually every dollar they raise goes directly to help women seeking termination of a pregnancy.
As escorts, we offer immediate support to patients at EMW as they make the trip up the sidewalk to the clinic. But we recognize that protesters are not the only barrier, and there are lots of other ways to support access. We want to support the organizations that help reduce other barriers for people seeking to terminate a pregnancy. So we’ll be spotlighting a couple of organizations that provide help directly to individual women in need, and making it easy to donate to them from our blog and our Facebook page. A Fund is the first of these organizations.
To learn more about A Fund, to volunteer, or to make a donation, you can visit their website, or their Facebook page. Louisville Clinic Escorts are also starting a donation page here on the blog, and will provide a link on our Facebook page.
It is essential that we push back against the loss of rights that we are seeing now. We invite you to consider supporting A Fund as one way to do so.
(If you want to volunteer to escort, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)