Did you know September is Abortion Access Month? (I didn’t either...but now we both do!) The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) is celebrating 20 years of helping women get the care they need by spearheading a renewed effort to open dialogue about abortion in the United States.
NNAF board members Veronica Bayetti Flores and Eesha Pandit kicked off the month with an article on Feministing, revealing rather shocking statistics on the current state of a woman’s right to choose. Though a legal right to an abortion exists within the United States, for most it may as well not. They make the all too real point that despite an abortion being a medical procedure, they are not treated, socially and legally, as a form of medical care; in only 17 states does Medicaid cover an abortion.This is why, above all, the article focuses on the sheer cost, up to $3,000, which is truly the most limiting factor for women who are not ready or do not wish to have a child.
To illustrate this point, the article shares the heartbreaking story of a woman named Leila, who was already struggling to care for her first child when she became pregnant. After arriving at the abortion clinic only to find her procedure would cost $100 more than she originally thought, Leila went around the waiting room and began trying to tell her possessions in order to raise the money then and there.
It may seem like an extreme case, but NNAF board members say these scenarios are becoming increasingly common as states smack down new restrictions, waiting periods, and obscure requirements one must undergo in order to even be considered for a procedure. We are at a key point in the abortion discussion and all have the power to ignite real change!
Throughout September, the NNAF will be continuing the conversation and encouraging everyone to participate in the ongoing legal and social action. The month of awareness will round out with their Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion (Sept. 28th).
But the action necessary for women across the country to have safe, affordable, and comfortable access to abortions won’t be complete in 30 days. Use this time as a springboard for change in your city and state! Visit the NNAF website to learn more about how you can stay involved this month and beyond.
Image via the NNAF