Friday, February 24, 2006

Abortion Help for Low-Income Women

The South Dakota Legislature's unconstitutional effort to outlaw abortion is a good excuse to talk about where girls and women can get help accessing their constitutional right to abortion.

In many states, Medicaid does not cover abortion unless a woman or girl is a victim of rape or incest, or unless her life is endangered. If the womb patrolling legislators in South Dakota were to have their way (not likely), abortion would be offered only when a woman's life was threatened.

For many women, the cost of an abortion makes the constitutional right null and void. But there is help.

The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) "support[s] women who want abortions and cannot afford them." The NNAF provides "direct financial assistance and support" to women in search of an abortion.

As you can see on the map, the vast majority of states offer low income women help via NNAF Member Abortion Funds. Tennessee does not. But NNAF offers help in establishing Abortion Funds where they do not exist. And women in Tennessee can seek help from other states.

One of the better known abortion funding organizations is the New York Abortion Acess Fund (NYAAF). It is "a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income women who cannot afford to pay for an abortion." Women who travel to New York for an abortion can find a place to stay through Haven, a group of volunteers who offer women and girls a bed or a couch. You can contact Haven through the NYAAF.

Just as abortion funds are available in most states, most states are decidedly pro choice. But you'd never know it by the behavior of this nation's womb obsessed lawmakers. One hundred and five South Dakota legislators are men who should not even have a vote on the issue. Only seventeen of the state's legislators are women!

South Dakota lawmakers have proved once again that this nation's elected officials are out of touch with ordinary Americans. What kind of state forces women and children to reproduce their rapists? It's taking its own sweet time, but a fierce nonforgiving backlash is coming, and they are going to rue the day.