On June 24, the Supreme Court released their decision in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The verdict overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 case that affirmed it. The decision had been widely expected following Politico’s publication of the leaked draft majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, in May. The final decision closely conforms to Alito’s leaked opinion, in which he called Roe “egregiously wrong” and suggested that the right to an abortion is not “deeply rooted” in U.S. history. Ultimately, all of the court’s six conservative justices — Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts and Amy Coney Barrett — voted to strike down Roe, while Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan dissented.
Following the leak of the draft decision, in preparation for this moment, abortion advocates quickly mobilized to ensure that people who need to terminate their pregnancies can still do so. This is of particular concern in the 13 states with so-called trigger laws, which set the stage to outlaw abortions in those states automatically as Roe was overturned. Per The 19th*, only three states immediately banned abortion — Kentucky, Louisiana, and South Dakota — while the other 10 either require some form of certification to enact their bans, or their bans will take effect after 30 days. What’s more, nine states have unenforced pre-Roe bans still on their books, and four others are likely to enact new bans post-Roe, per the Guttmacher Institute. In total, the right to an abortion is now completely eradicated or threatened in 26 states.
Though access to abortion is no longer protected in those states with trigger laws, abortion fund leaders stress that the fight is not over. “Whatever happens next, abortion funds will continue doing what they do best — helping people get the abortion care they need, when they need it," said Debasri Ghosh, managing director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, in a statement emailed to Bustle following the leaked draft decision.
For example, in Oklahoma, which has had a near-total abortion ban in effect since the end of May, funds are pivoting to educating patients about their options. “We're building a support system [and] trying to educate Oklahoma women,” Susan Braselton, a board member and clinic escort coordinator at the Roe Fund, tells Bustle. “There are websites after websites that will direct women where they need to go, if it's illegal in your state to get the abortion pill by mail, how you can go about getting it,” she says, citing plancpills.org, Aid Access, and ineedana.com. “[Abortion] might be outlawed in Oklahoma, but that doesn't mean it's unavailable," she says.
If you are looking to donate to abortion funds, these local organizations are working on the ground to help people in states where abortion access is most fragile.
- The Arkansas Abortion Support Network provides patient escorting; financial and logistical support for the procedure, travel, lodging, and child care; and educational resources throughout Arkansas. With an extremely limited number of clinics in Arkansas, resources like travel support are vital to patients in need of an abortion.
- The Northwest Abortion Access Fund provides financial grants to hotline callers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Grants can cover procedure funds and/or “practical support” such as travel and lodging. You can reach the NWAAF hotline at 866-NWA-AF10.
- The Kentucky Health Justice Network has an Abortion Support Fund that directly supports those seeking an abortion in Kentucky. Its volunteers also provide services like transportation and interpretation to those who need it.
- The New Orleans Abortion Fund works to provide necessary support to those seeking an abortion in Louisiana. Their site also emphasizes that their hotline is open to anyone in the Gulf South, with whom they will work to connect with funding and resources. You can reach their hotline at (844) 44-ABORT.
- The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund provides funding for abortions, Plan B, lodging, travel, and childcare, as well as services like Spanish translation and abortion doulas. Their site notes that these resources are available to all Mississippi residents, “regardless of where they seek abortion care.”
- The Missouri Abortion Fund works directly with clinics to provide financial support to patients who cannot cover the full cost of abortion services.
- The WIN Fund offers grants to qualifying patients in North Dakota to cover a portion of abortion costs. Their funding also covers services such as transportation, childcare, and birth control.
- The Roe Fund provides financial assistance as well as emotional and logistical support to low-income Oklahoma residents seeking an abortion.
- The Justice through Empowerment Network provides financial support to South Dakota residents seeking an abortion. It also cover costs like travel, childcare, food, the morning-after pill, and more. JENSD’s site states that, if a patient is unable to receive an abortion in South Dakota, they will work to ensure they can travel to another state where this service is available.
- The Mountain Access Brigade is a volunteer-run abortion doula collective offering services to the Appalachian Mid-South (primarily eastern Tennessee). Along with financial support to those seeking an abortion, the organization works to provide educational resources, “non-judgmental emotional support,” and logistical services to the surrounding community.
- The Abortion Care for Tennessee Fund works directly with clinics throughout Tennessee to provide financial assistance for patients seeking abortions.
- ActBlue has a list of 10 different organizations in Texas working to ensure abortion access to residents. You can donate evenly to all of them, or select which groups you’d like to support individually. The groups include Whole Woman's Health Alliance, Inc., West Fund, Fund Texas Choice, the Lilith Fund, Support Your Sistah at the Afiya Center, The Bridge Collective, Clinic Access Support Network, Jane's Due Process, Frontera Fund, and Texas Equal Access Fund.
- According to their site, the Utah Abortion Fund is the “first and only fund in Utah affiliated with the National Network of Abortion Funds.” The fund provides financial assistance to those seeking an abortion, and also works to offer education throughout Utah “to build power around abortion, birth, and reproductive health access in the Beehive State.”